As the Android market turns into a giant playground for me-too products could it be such a bad development for BlackBerry to emerge?
MADISON, Wis. -- Here we go again.
As soon as Research In Motion--which renamed itself BlackBerry--unveiled Wednesday (Jan. 30) its two new devices--Z10 and Q10--running on the company’s new BB10 operating system, the whole world is now talking about how the new devices failed to impress Wall Street analysts.
BlackBerry’s Z10 phone looks similar to Apple's iPhone 5, or any other new smartphone model. It features an 8- megapixel camera and high-definition video. BlackBerry’s Q10's touch screen is significantly smaller, so that it allows space for a physical QWERTY keyboard. It looks similar to recent BlackBerry Bold models.
The announcement, indeed, did not move the needle for the Canadian company. The company’s Nasdaq-listed shares closed down 12 percent Wednesday at $13.78.
Reuters reports that at least three financial analysts have downgraded the company’s stock.
In an era when a company’s (and/or a technology’s) worth is often measured by “like” tags from the financial community, I shouldn’t be surprised that the general public already seems to agree that BB10--and by extension the whole BlackBerry brand--is DOA.
Maybe so. But, just for the heck of it, let’s consider exactly what in the new Blackberry devices disappointed the financial community. Specifically, the two biggies were pricing and product delay.
Here are the facts we know as of Thursday morning:
Verizon Wireless said it would sell the Z10 for $199 with a two-year contract, or $149 with a three-year contract in the United States. Verizon will offer both Q10 and Z10 on its 4G LTE network. But the company did not announce pricing for Q10.
Sprint is only planning to carry the keyboard-equipped Q10 at this time, with no immediate plans to carry the touch-screen Z10 device. T-Mobile for now is said to be just planning to carry the touch-screen Z10. AT&T said that it will offer the Z10 and the Q10.
The point here is that no one has any information as to how much the keyboard-equipped Q10 is going to cost; nor how U.S. carriers other than Verizon are going to price either Z10 or Q10, let alone how much they will eventually cost in the “emerging markets.”
But apparently it's already been determined that $199 for Z10 is too expensive. And the financial analysts, according to Reuters, noted that “average sales prices might be too high for many emerging market users." They also raised questions about how quickly businesses would adopt the new devices.