Will The BlackBerry Store Succeed?

If you haven’t heard already, the world’s first official BlackBerry Store opened it’s doors yesterday morning. At first, I thought, “Wow, pretty cool…” Now that I have thought about it a little longer, I wonder if The BlackBerry Store will actually succeed.

There is no doubt that the BlackBerry is one of the hottest selling smartphones on the market. When you look at the overall mobile phone market, however, the number of BlackBerry’s sold here in the U.S., even though more BlackBerrys are sold here than all other places combined, is just a rounding error compared to the total number of mobile devices sold.

Will the BlackBerry Store receive enough foot traffic to sell enough devices to keep the lights running? I know that they will sell training as well, however, BlackBerry training is nothing new and how far will people travel so that their BlackBerry training comes from a place that has an official BlackBerry logo on the marquee?

Will the BlackBerry Store succeed? Tell us what you think.

Comments

  1. bluehorseshoe says

    They do well without the store. Can’t see the store working. They sell phones and training. It’s not like they are Apple which sells other products outside the IPhone. And to top it off, which service are they going to push or offer if someone wants the Curve or a Pearl?

  2. Waterboy says

    I live not too far from the BlackBerry Store and will probably check it out this weekend. I don’t see though how they could sell enough Blackberries to stay afloat unless they are selling a ton of training.

  3. says

    There used to be a store called IMO (Independent Mobile) that had the same premise, however, they sold mobile devices, BlackBerrys included, from all the carriers less AT&T and a few of the really small regional players.

    I am not sure if IMO is still open but I know that they struggled from the lack of foot traffic in the store and they carried hundreds of devices so I can definitely see this being a problem for The BlackBerry Store.

  4. gquaglia says

    They are going to have to come out with more consumer friendly features if they hope for this type of store to succeed. Business customers do not buy their Blackberrys if this type of setting.

  5. Christopher says

    I think the store can work and here are a few reasons why:

    I just recently came back from a deployment and of course after being in Iraq suffering with no data on the network and cheap nokia brick phones for the last 15 months everyone had to go out and buy the latest and greatest phones. I know of at least 15 people who purchased blackberries. Now this might now seem like an outragous number of people especially considering that over 300 people are in my unit but like I said there were about 15 that I have seen. There are probably another 10 or 15 that I haven’t seen yet. I personally believe that out of everyone who considered a up-level pda type phone maybe 50% purchased a Blackberry. There are your few that have purchased the iPhone (maybe 4 or 5 that I have seen), some sidekicks (maybe 1 or 2) and a few others who purchased other windows mobile devices (maybe 7 to 10) but the majority that bought phones costing over 100 bucks bought blackberries. Now this is from a group of people who all have been overseas and completely away from current technology for the last year or so. These are all mostly new users who didn’t have a clue what a blackberry was before we left because neither the pearl or the curve were out last August when we left.

    Also I was at the Acrua dealer last week getting a service done and while I was in the waiting area there were 3 people total and all three had blackberries. Two others had 8800’s and I had a pearl.

    Blackberries are a huge part of the mobile market now. I don’t know if they picked the right location for the store (I know nothing about Farmington Hills, Michigan) but one would definately suceed in any of the top 10 metro areas for sure. Bigger cities like NY, LA, Chicago, Dallas, etc. could probably support 2 or 3 stores with ease. Customers will most likely stick with whatever service gives them the best coverage or compare data rates between carriers and switch if they so choose. I do believe that most will stick with their same carrier even when they do upgrade their BB. But it would be great to take a phone on any given network and test it out for 10 days, then return it and pick up the same phone on a different network and try that out as well. And if neither of those suited you too well, go back the same store and try out another carrier. It would be the easiest way to pick between a 88xx, 83xx, or 81xx and pick GSM or CDMA to find out what works best for you in your location, and daily usage.

  6. pd says

    I think this has a chance of being successful. Its location is smack dab in the middle of an extremely affluent area. Oakland County, where the store is located, was at one time the third wealthiest county in the USA. Not sure where it currently ranks, but I guarantee it’s still up there. Wireless Giant, the owner of the store, has used this business model (which sounds similar to IMO Robb) with great success. I see their stores popping up all over the place in Metro Detroit. I believe they have around 60 stores in multiple states.

    The Blackberry store will have multiple phones for multiple carriers. If you want to compare it to Apple, which is where most phone discussions end up nowadays, it would be similar to Apple opening up an iPod store. (Which would probably succeed) One stop shopping works, just ask Wal-Mart and Costco. It gives us lazy Americans more time to hit the drive-thru…..

  7. says

    I do not think they will have enough foot traffic to keep the store alive. Didn’t Gateway try something like this in Home Depots? When you have online stores that offer full stop shopping (like http://www.wirelessbyeaccess.com) including devices, data plans, carrier choice, accessories, TRAINING, etc. why would you go to a bricks and mortar? It seems to me that BlackBerry is being a bit foolish about their target audience….what part of “mobile devices” is not resonating with them?

  8. bluehorseshoe says

    A store that just sells IPods would be successful? WOW. Gotta disagree with that one. Also, a store in a wealthy county is going to make that much of a difference? I live in one of the top 10 counties (was once in the top 5) and bought my 4 blackberry’s either online or at the wireless carriers store.

    If BlackBerry had dozens of options and products, perhaps….but they don’t, so I really don’t see this doing well enough to grow it out.

  9. pd says

    Essentially this is a wireless carrier store(owned by Wireless Giant, not RIM), except instead of offering all the phones one carrier carries it will offer all the models of a phone company on all the carriers. Not saying it’s a slam dunk, but I don’t see why it can’t work.

    There’s a lot of people that want to physically hold and play around with a phone before buying. And imagine talking to a sales rep the first time you looked at a Blackberry who actually had more than cursory knowledge of how they work. (I think the training of the sales people will ultimately decide the store’s success)

    I would also have to imagine that selling a BB data plan has to be a lot more lucrative than a typical phone plan, so the volume wouldn’t have to be as high as a traditional store to have similar sales psf.

    Time will tell I guess…

    And just as an aside, with the marketing genius that is Apple combined with their fervent following, they could probably sell iPoop and make money…

  10. Name Required says

    I can say without a doubt that this store will not succeed. Not only because there is no need for a store like this for everyday consumers, but because it is run by Wireless Giant, the masters of scams and poor customer service. Give it 6 months and you’ll see this as a vacant lot or and independent cell phone supplier. Wireless Giant, get a phone, get a tan and buy some vitamins–a regular party store! And for the record, any positive feedback for Wireless Giant on these blogs has been posted by the owners of WG. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY!

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