Finally. BlackBerry has given up their hopes that carriers can help them push phones direct to consumers. Sidestepping the trend, they’ve reverted back to selling unlocked devices available through direct shipment to interested customers. For one, it’s a step in the right direction. As Tmobile struggles to sell phones in the US against AT&T and Verizon they will be cutting out some of their low sellers, namely the BB10 lineup of phones. Not supporting as many business customers as Verizon, AT&T or Sprint makes shelving the BB10 phones a bit meaningless for T systems-they aren’t driving sales figures week over week so what’s the point, right?
BlackBerry providing direct solutions in such a way is not out of their territory. As they’ve always allowed direct buy of their devices. It’s to many customers regret that they didn’t open up this direct buy option sooner. Maybe after preliminary Q1 results. Instead they bring the option on the heels of a nearly 1 billion dollar writeoff for Z10 handsets, which are currently sitting in their store at $449.99 US. The Q10 is priced up in both White and Black variants at $549.99. While comparable to carrier outright price I expect to see these prices slowly undercut the carrier partners as BlackBerry looks to gain back some of the revenue dumped into the preliminary bet on the Z10 to help “turn around” the market for BlackBerry.