BlackBerry’s new Z10 smartphone launched in India on Monday, with the Canadian mobile company hoping it’ll be a hit with the country’s burgeoning consumer class.
Its 43,490 rupees price tag (about $800) is a shade lower than that of the iPhone, which retails for 45,500 rupees (about $840), but is much more expensive than Samsung’s flagship S3 device, which can now be found for 29,480 rupees (about $545) following two recent price cuts.
The BB10-powered Z10 will be the most expensive handset BlackBerry has brought to the Indian market, with most sales up to now coming via handsets among its much cheaper Curve range, which can be picked up for as little as 9,900 rupees (about $180).
However, the company formerly known as Research In Motion clearly sees potential in the fast emerging Indian market, with IDC data suggesting that nationwide sales of smartphones could increase by around 50 percent to $4 billion in 2013 and may even exceed $7 billion within three years.
Meanwhile, Canada’s biggest independent mobile phone retailer indicated on Monday that the Z10 is getting strong support from the home crowd, calling it “the leading smartphone sold” at its 330 stores since its launch early last month, making it more popular – for this month at least – than Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S3 handset. Glentel declined to give specific figures, however.
Shortly after the Z10 hit the market in Canada, Ontario-based BlackBerry said it was the “best day ever for the first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry smartphone” in the country. It’s going to be interesting to see how US consumers react to the new device when it launches in March, with the mobile maker desperately hoping for a positive response.
Concrete sales figures for the device won’t be available until March 28 when BlackBerry reports its fourth quarter financial results, though even then this will only include data collected up until the end of February.