Raise your hand if you recently purchased a new BlackBerry Q10! Anyone? No?
We’re hard-pressed to find anyone that has adopted the newest device released by the former pioneer of smartphones and, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, it isn’t that we aren’t looking hard enough. Sales of the device have been dismal. While BlackBerry hasn’t publicly discussed the sales numbers, the WSJ was able to ascertain the information from individual retailers both in the U.S. and Canada.
According to these retailers, not only are the device sales extremely low, but the majority of those sales result in a quick return of the phone. Additionally, dealers that purchase old devices have seen a drop in number of people looking to sell theirs in preparation for getting the latest and greatest – an indication that less people are in the market.
One unnamed executive at a Canadian carrier said, “I think we’d all say that the Q10, the one we all thought was going to be the savior, just hit the ground and died.” Why’s that? One major issue may be that BlackBerry made the decision to release the Z10, a 100-percent-touchscreen device, months before the Q10. Its rationale was that it owned the physical keyboard market, so a delay wouldn’t be a hindrance. This may have been a big mistake on the struggling company’s part, as customers appear to have moved on.
Though BlackBerry is remaining tight-lipped on sales numbers, a representative from the company did point out that its recent agreements with ADP, The Department of Defense, and Univision Communications Inc., plus, corporate sales, could prove to be a huge boost for the company. A spokesperson from Sprint said that there is a lot of interest in devices with a physical keyboard from business customers, and BlackBerry verified that 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies are currently testing out the Q10 for potential use. (And anyone who has worked for a larger corporation knows that these purchase decisions tend to take a longer time to make.)
Whether either of these moves will have an impact on BlackBerry’s success remains to be seen. The company will release quarterly numbers by September 27, but we may have to wait until we see Q4 sales before those corporate sales roll in.