Monday, March 03, 2014

BlackBerry Z10 Price Down, Sales Up

With BlackBerry making a huge price cut in its flagship model Z10 in India last week, it gave the sales figures a huge boost across the country with some stores selling over 300 units. This move from BlackBerry came in on the 10th anniversary of company in India. With a huge price cut of over 12,000 rupees, which brought the price of Z10 to just 17K, people got a great option of a high end phone at an even lesser price of mid range smartphones such as Grand 2, Micromax Canvas series, which even resulted in empty stocks and pre-orders at the stores. The news is equally great for BlackBerry and its loyalists, as this would mean that the new OS from company would be in more hands than usual, and with the recent 10.2 update of BB10, which lets the users sideload the Android apps is a huge bonus.

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BlackBerry has always been a status symbol in Indian market even before the iPhone became a rage, but not keeping up with the pace of the smart phone market led to the gradual demise of the company all over the globe, and the poor marketing along with aggressive pricing at the launch made it worse. Z10 was launched at a ridiculous price tag of 45,000 in India(keeping the note of companies state), which was at par with Apple iPhone 5, about 7,000 more than iPhone 4S, and almost equal to Samsung Galaxy S3, but all without any of the apps which Android and iOS had. This resulted in an expected poor sales figures across the country as people were too shy to try out the niche OS and ecosystem.

Though company had already reduced its price last year from 45K to 29K, but with an unsold inventory of $1 billion Z10 was always getting raised eyebrows on even its revised price tag and this was still too high for any one to consider shifting to BlackBerry as Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2 and Apple iPhone 4, iPhone 4S were already in that region of price at that time, so it was again a poor move. BlackBerry has said that the reduced prices would be only for 60 days, but I wonder this would be the case as they now have BlackBerry Z3 and BlackBerry Q20 lined up for launch(Already announced), and they would want the Z10 inventory to clear off the shelves and the BB10 to reach as many people as it can.

Now, the next expected move from BlackBerry is to get the price of other BB10 device right. Z30 is a great device and I believe once people have seen and used enough of the BB10 and known its brilliance(Apps apart), they would consider upgrading to the higher end versions soon. BlackBerry Q10 and Q5 are the only QWERTY’s available, so they need to work on that front also.

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