Nikhil SubramaniamMar 05, 2013 15:32:58 IST
Two major retailers in the UK have reduced the price of the BlackBerry Z10 by quite a lot. Carphone Warehouse has slashed the Z10's price to £29 (approx Rs 2,500) with a £29 per month, two-year contract. That’s a 20 percent drop in the contract price, which previously was £36 (approx Rs 3,000) per month with a free handset. On the whole, the reduction is to the tune of around £160 (about Rs 13,000) for every Z10 handset over the two years of the contract.
Vodafone has also introduced a discounted online deal for the Z10 and the handset is now priced at £33 per month, which effectively means a £72 (approx Rs 6,000) cut for customers, over the two years of the contract period.
BlackBerry Z10 is now cheaper in the UK
It appears shoppers in India are also waiting for a similar price cut before buying the smartphone, which was launched last month in the country. In India, the Z10 has been a hot seller, but stocks are reportedly low. Some retailers told us they believe consumers are waiting for a price drop before deciding to buy the handset, despite a healthy per-day sales record. The pricing of the BlackBerry Z10 is a topic ripe for debate, and in our recent poll, an overwhelming number of responders said they won’t buy the phone at its Rs 43,490 price tag. Despite that, sales in the country have been promising, if not terrific.
A clear result
James Faucette, an analyst at Pacific Crest, said the cuts mean that the Z10’s sales weren’t as good as expected. BlackBerry has pinned its hopes of a recovery on the Z10, the first device to run the redesigned BB10 OS. “The case for (BlackBerry’s) recovery has been that in the long run, the company could return to selling high-end handsets that would feature enough profitability that handset profits could more than offset long-term declines in the highly profitable service business,” he told The Telegraph.
The company has positioned the Z10 as a high-end competitor to the iPhone and Galaxy S3 in the hopes of maximising profit margins. But a price drop could affect the margins adversely. The Z10 is the only BB10 handset available at the moment and considering this exclusivity, BlackBerry has reasonably priced it slightly higher than other handsets in its league. The BlackBerry touch-and-type Q10 is expected to launch in April and once it does, the Z10's price might drop in India as well.
Earlier this month, an internal BlackBerry report showed one-third of Z10 owners in the UK were switching over from either an Android smartphone or the iPhone. Meanwhile, in Canada nearly half of Z10 buyers were switching over from the two rival platforms. Perhaps a price drop so soon will speed up the Z10's adoption. For BlackBerry, which has treasured its loyal corporate users through the lean years, the Z10’s success among users who have used competing operating systems will be a minor victory.
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