BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) Q10 has failed to attract much response, with retailers reporting weak demand for the QWERTY keypad-enabled BlackBerry 10 device, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The unimpressive performance also strengthens the fact that BlackBerry is eagerly looking for a viable strategic alternative for its business.
Retailers, dealers, carriers suggest low demand for Q10
One of the operators of 16 Wireless Zone stores, Chris Jourdan, told Journal that there was a meager demand of BlackBerry Q10, and those who purchased it came back to return the device after few days.
“We saw virtually no demand for the Q10 and eventually returned most of them to our equipment vendor,” Chris Jourdan said.
On Friday, Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S) will launch Q10 while other major carriers, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), have already been selling the device since this summer. Carriers have already initiated with the discounting on Z10, and inventories of both Z10 and Q10 are already piling up, which is a cause of concern considering the devices had been launched just a few months before.
Another factor that gives an idea about the slow response of BlackBerry Q10 is that dealers who deal in used phones are not reporting excess of old BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) devices, which is generally the case when an updated version of any device is launched. Chief Marketing officer at Next Worth, Jeff Trachel said that both BlackBerry- Z10 and Q10 were “non-events” from trade-in perspective.
“We thought there would be a pocket of die-hard BlackBerry enthusiasts waiting to upgrade, but it seems they have already moved on,” said Jeff Trachel.
Z10 from BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is now coming with a two year contract at various retail stores such as Best Buy. Additionally, employees with BlackBerry are given a chance to buy up to 10 Z10s, contract-free, paying less than $100 for each.
BlackBerry OS 10 disappoints, now what?
According to the Journal, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has not revealed any data on sales performance of the smartphone, but the lack of demand will take a toll on BlackBerry’s effort to regain the lost market share in the smartphone market against the likes Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
As a part of restructuring, the Waterloo, Ontario based company is even looking forward to a spin-off of its BlackBerry Messenger business into a distinct business with more freedom. The Z10 maker has been hit hard by the roaring competitions from Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android devices. The company was hopeful on its OS 10 range of devices, but phones like Z10 and Q10 could hardly turn anything around for BlackBerry.
One of the spokespersons of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), though not responding on sales numbers, said that the company has grabbed recent orders to carry the new devices with customers including Univision Communications Inc., the Department of Defense and ADP. Latest Quarter results for the company will come out on September 27th.