T-Mobile to launch BlackBerry Z10 on March 26; U.S. sales off to slow start

T-Mobile to launch BlackBerry Z10 on March 26; U.S. sales off to slow start
Amid signs that the U.S.launch of the BlackBerry Z10 fared poorly on Friday, a leaked document revealed that T-Mobile will launch the all-touch BlackBerry 10 model on March 26th. Meanwhile, evidence was piling up showing that the debut of BlackBerry 10 in the U.S. had been a bust. At the two AT&T stores in Manhattan, less than twenty people had come in to the locations specifically for the BlackBerry Z10 and most of those that bought the unit were replacing older BlackBerry models. Earlier Friday, BlackBerry fans were excited when a picture posted on a forum showed an extremely long line apparently waiting to buy the new BlackBerry. But it was all a ludicrous mistake. The line was actually for a performance by Ludacris being held at the Best Buy theater.

Stories from AT&T retail locations from coast to coast show that the carrier really made little effort to market the product with one store in San Francisco having to get the phone from the storeroom when someone wanted to see it. Eventually they left the phone out in the back, far away from a sign advertising the Apple iPhone 5.

Many had questioned why BlackBerry decided to launch the all-touch Z10 first instead of the BlackBerry Q10 with its more familiar physical QWERTY. At the time, CEO Thorsten Heins said that since the Z10 was the more difficult of the two to produce, he wanted to have it out of the way and completed first. But this might have backfired. When you consider that even Google Chairman Eric Schmidt refuses to part with his 'Berry because of the keyboard, you have to wonder how much momentum was lost saving the BlackBerry Q10 for several weeks down the road. "I have some trepidation about going to the virtual keyboard," said  real-estate investor Jonathan Bennett, 37, "I've been holding back from switching to an Android or an iPhone because I love the (physical QWERTY) keyboard." Bennett bought the Z10 anyway, explaining that his company would let him exchange it for the BlackBerry Q10 if necessary.

Still, there are fans of the platform who appreciate the way BlackBerry handles email. Scott Kaylin, a BlackBerry user since 1999, bought a BlackBerry Z10 to combine his work and play phones. He currently uses an older 'Berry for work and has a cracked Samsung Galaxy S III for play. He says that the Android device can't handle the flood of emails he receives each day for business,which usually tops 300. "Finding emails on the Samsung is a disaster," said Kaylin.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile is expected to launch the BlackBerry Z10 on Tuesday which is the same day that it is expected to turn on its first LTE markets officially. The Z10 will support the carrier's LTE service. T-Mobile already offered the phone to its business customers earlier this month for $249.99 with a signed two-year contract. There is no word on how much consumers will be asked to pay for the phone. Verizon is also expected to launch the BlackBerry Z10 this coming Thursday for $199.99 with a signed two-year pact. Sprint is sitting this one out, but will offer the QWERTY equipped BlackBerry Q10 which is expected to be available in about 6 to 8 weeks.

source: WSJ, TmoNews, WMPoweruser

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1. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

yeah if this isnt a sign to crackberry fans I dunno what else is

2. BillyG

Posts: 305; Member since: Sep 24, 2012

they already all on crack, let them have their berry, it'll help them sleep at night

8. jcarrigan unregistered

i havent seen a single blackberry commercial so maybe they should find ways to get the word out about the new blackberry duh!


Posts: 187; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

with all fairness with BB they've done a good job in the app department comparing it to WP the apps price is not that expensive as well compare to WP a bit higher to ios and android.. i think they are doing good enough to make them live up and even stole the 3rd place in mobile platform main problem with all honesty is the price of it quite expensive..

5. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

I said it in January and I'll repeat myself: Die-hard BB users -- even the ones who love their S3's -- prefer a keyboard and given BB's favored status among corporate/government users, it's a mistake not to have launched the Q first. Of course, it's too late to change this, and I wish BB well (even though my next phone will likely be the S4).

6. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

Takes time to persuade others from what they already have ...some will still get an iPhone even tho the gs4 is out so as long as black berry keeps improving and working hard, some u.s customers will find there way back to blackberry soon

7. cornerofthemoon

Posts: 620; Member since: Apr 20, 2010

about what everybody expected....However, I hear the Z10 is doing well in Europe.

9. StreetNerd

Posts: 870; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

any words on the Q10 pricing?

11. slaggyb

Posts: 218; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

I personally walked into an at&t store today to see how they marketing the Z10. the most surprising thing I got from the reps that I spoke to was that they were not trained as such the can't use the phone...one of them said they be trained next week... no sign nothing to show this phone exists. ..All I see around the store was iphone5 posters and galaxy s3 its just a shame.

12. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Finding emails sent through blackberry on my domain is biggest nightmare as it never goes through the domain but uses RIM network. It's so stupid to do a BCC to yourself for every outgoing mail :)

13. bluescreen

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 22, 2012

like this is a surprise to anyone? give me a break the writing was all over the walls when those hundreds of thousands of corporate accounts/lines were cancled.....moldy berry should have just filed chapter 11 and counted their losses...now they will have a smaller customer base than cricket!

14. MobileMac unregistered

I went to a AT&T store in Fontana, CA and they had one z10 and it wouldn't turn on. That was the only phone in the whole store. No signs were on the outside and only one by the phone. The sales guy was only interested in selling me a tab of some kind. I am a long standing AT&T customer who uses a SG3. But I have to say they are really trying to screw Blackberry.

15. zarneguy

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

".moldy berry should have just filed chapter 11 and counted their losses." Why anyone would wish Blackberry (RIM) to go out of business is beyond me. This company helped and provided thousand of jobs worldwide including the U.S. especially during its heyday. Sure, the company has less cash than Apple & Google but it still has billions in the bank with no debts, so no chapter 11 for them. The Z10 has done well in Europe and other world markets. Blackberry is good for the competition and for us the consumers. Poor marketing by Blackberry and ATT in the US. This should change and maybe next week we will know who bought that 1 million blackberry phones.

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