BlackBerry Z10: Prices pruned despite eager iPunter interest
Are enough iPhone and Android fans hopping on board to revive the former RIM?
How well is the Z10 from BlackBerry - née RIM - faring? Reports on the handset’s retail success, on which BlackBerry’s recovery as a business is riding, are mixed.
Late last week, Carphone Warehouse and Vodafone separately pruned the price of the handset, not a good sign for a premium device that has been on sale for less than a month.
CW is offering the handset with a Three £29-a-month, two-year contract, down from the £36 per month package the other networks are currently attaching to the Z10. The higher-priced tariff bundles the phone for free whereas the CW Three deal requires a £29 up-front payment for the hardware. Even so, calculates James Faucette of Pacific Crest, a US-based broker, this is effectively a price reduction of £160.
The Vodafone cut sees the Z10 being offered for free on a reduced, £33-a-month web-only tariff. Again, the contract length is two years, an amounts to an effective £72 off the SIM-free price.
Faucette wonders about the impact of such effective cuts on the Z10’s revenue generating potential for BlackBerry, noting that the price cuts could indicate a shift down-market for the Z10, from a high-end product to a mid-range offering. This will, in turn, reduce BlackBerry’s margins and thus the profitability on which the company’s recovery is predicated.
Of course, CW and Vodafone could simply be taking advantage of common tariff price fluctuations to make the Z10 more attractive, rather than responding to reduction in the wholesale price BlackBerry sells the Z10 for. It’s perhaps too early to see this as the start of a trend, or a sign that punters aren’t biting.
Separately, website BGR says half of all of Z10 sales in Canada and a third of those in the UK have been made to punters who were previously using iPhones or Android handsets. The claim comes from “several high-level BlackBerry executives”, speaking not to BGR but in an internal report on the phone’s progress subsequently leaked to the site.
This is not necessarily the “coup” BGR says it is, assuming for a second that the document is genuine: how important the migration will be depends on the number of handsets BlackBerry has actually shifted in those countries - assuming, of course, that the alleged BlackBerry executives’ figures are accurate to begin with.
Faucette claimed in the recent past: “We continue to believe the Z10 launch involves relatively small shipment volumes and only moderate sell-through so far in markets which have historically been some of BlackBerry’s strongest.” Faucette is something of a Z10 sceptic, it has to be said, but other market watchers have expressed the same thought.
At the end of last week, BlackBerry posted its first public software update for the Z10. Improvements include correct Gmail calendar support, better call-logging and conversation-handling in the BlackBerry hub, better support for importing contacts from online sources, optimisations to allow the built-in camera to take better snaps in low light, improved video playback in the web browser, and better battery life. ®
Having Alicia Keys as 'Artistic Director' was so stupid that the people who who thought it was a good idea should be fired. It just looked pitiful. Probably the only time she has used a new Blackberry is when she is forced to for public appearances.
Re: No pent up demand from current BB owners?
New platform and does it have lots of apps? now I know that a phone could realistically get away with just having a browser these days, but people like apps due to notifications and other integration with the device.
So no matter what the technical merits of a platform are, it needs support from software makers.
You are so right sad really, my contract up soon so will take a punt on a Z10 only thing that is worrying me is I punted on a Win7.5 last time and was left with an apps dead end within months of signing up a 2 year contract.
I am looking for signs of life in the apps before I commit to BB or its Nexus 4 for me.....
RE: just locked into a three year contract
Are you sure you don't mean: chained by the balls for a 3 year period???
Z10 - Frustration beyond words
I've been a Blackberry fan for some time. I've just upgraded my Bold 9900 to the Z10 - What a disaster - I'm sending it back! There are of course some very good features such as browsing/processing speed, screen size and definition etc, but I use my mobile primarily for email, text and phone calls - where Blackberry have led the field - and the other things are a great 'add-on' if the basics work properly. It is almost impossible to manipulate text accurately, and to try and 'cut & paste' parts of texts or emails is frustrating beyond belief. The real problem is there is no accurate way to move around the screen and/or highlight or isolate text. I was hopeful that the Q10, with its physical keyboard, might solve this when it gets released, but I see they have removed the scroll pad, and therefore any accurate control of the curser, from the keyboard - BIG mistake. Want to forward a conversation, (i.e. a series of messages not just an individual one) - forget it, not possible, Try and copy a phone number from say a text to put into a contact - it dials the number!! Try and delete a phone log and it just dials the number! Try and put the curser in the middle of a misspelt word to correct it - impossible - unless incredibly lucky! Blackberry is really struggling to get back into the market - unfortunately in their desperation to clone the iphone, they have missed a big trick by removing some of the unique features that have in the past made Blackberry so much better than the rest. Looks like I will have to stick with my Bold for now - what a disappointment.