It has now been confirmed that BlackBerry‘s Q10 will run at $249 on a two-year contract in the U.S. BlackBerry must believe it can get away with charging a 25% premium over the Apple iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S4, and many other flagship Google Android devices since their BlackBerry targets more business customers, who can spare the expense.
This is a really risky move by BlackBerry, considering the fact that BlackBerry lacks the pricing power and market share. Android and Apple control over 90% of the smartphone market, leaving little to no room for BlackBerry. Apple experienced a 77% activation rate among enterprises in the first quarter, and area where BlackBerry remains highly committed. So unless you are an enterprise customer or a loyal BlackBerry user, there really isn’t any economic incentive to “trade up” to the Q10.
BlackBerry’s most valuable customer base is the consumers they already have. Last quarter, Blackberry had 76 million subscribers worldwide. This number is no where near Android’s 750 million devices and Apple’s 5010 million devices sold. Their 76 million subscribers will give BlackBerry a solid foundation of loyal users who are more than likely to upgrade. The question is, “How fast will their users transition?”
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