The gray market for BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s Passport is developing, and the phone was selling for $1,825 a few days ago, which is considerably more than the actual price. On Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s website, the Passport is available at $799, while in the company’s online store, it is available for $599.
Mixed reactions over BlackBerry Passport shortage
The seller on eBay might be charging a high price for the Passport for delivering the phone immediately, whereas customers have to wait for weeks if they prefer to buy a phone from the official store or Amazon. The gray market for the Passport is both unexpected and exciting for the company, as sales in the secondary market indicate demand for the product.
Excluding the 200,000 pre-orders, “an incremental 475,000 unit sales would return BlackBerry to profitability in its November quarter,” says a report from Seeking Alpha.
Consumers in Malaysia complained about the limited stock of BlackBerry, and analysts have been discussing whether the limited availability of Passport will work in favor of the company or against it. Analysts at Canaccord Genuity lowered their BlackBerry revenue estimates in their research note on Oct. 1.
The Canadian smartphone maker guided for conservative revenue on a sell-through basis rather than on shipments into the channel. A few things that concerned the analysts were limited availability of the Passport that will lead to a slow down in sales. Also the delay in revenue recognition will hurt the company’s revenue for the second half of the fiscal 2015 year, believe the analysts.
Chen content with the demand
Recently BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that he was happy that customers could not buy a Passport, indicating robust demand for the phone. Since Chen became CEO, the Passport is the first new major device from the Canadian firm. While speaking at the MIT Enterprise Forum in Hong Kong Chen, said, “I’m glad to have inventory issues. It shows that people want the phone,” said Chen. “We took a very conservative approach and didn’t order too many.”
Chen gave the idea that the company is following Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s marketing strategies. BlackBerry never had a very strong hold on consumer marketing, but the limited availability of the phone “serves as de facto public relations,” says the report.