If all of the rumors are correct three new BlackBerry devices, the BlackBerry Pearl Flip, The BlackBerry Bold, and the BlackBerry Storm, will all come out within about a month of each other. I personally like having choice, however, I wonder if these releases may be a bit too close to each other.
There is no question that RIM’s intention wasn’t to have three back to back to back releases. The BlackBerry Bold was supposed to come back during the summer but RIM and AT&T couldn’t get 3G figured out and there was the little known device, the iPhone 3G, which made its debut back then as well.
I honestly don’t know what RIM’s intentions with the BlackBerry Pearl Flip are. It is the first flip phone BlackBerry and most people that don’t read BlackBerry blogs everyday initial reaction is, “Oh when did that come out”, as they walk passed it to find the BlackBerry Curve in the T-Mobile store.
RIM, Verizon, and Vodafone appear to be throwing serious marketing dollars behind the BlackBerry Storm, RIM’s first touchscreen BlackBerry and it is definitely overshadowing the Flip and the Bold. Since all of these devices, at least for now, are exclusive to a single carrier, RIM’s thought may have been that it doesn’t matter much when we release them. I think, however, RIM forgets that with the exception of Verizon, carrier loyalty really doesn’t mean much.
You already hear a lot of AT&T subscribers say that they will forgo the Bold and switch to Verizon to get the BlackBerry Storm and I’d be willing to bet that AT&T to Verizon churn to get the Storm will be greater than Verizon to AT&T to get the iPhone. This, however is for another post…
At the end of the day, things will probably work themselves out. The Storm is going to sell like mad to prosumers so long as RIM gets the pricing right. AT&T has a massive amount of business users that will eventually swap their aging 8700 and 8800 devices out for Bolds and T-Mobile will eventually offer the Pearl Flip for about $50 if they don’t completely subsidize it and give it away for free with a long-term contract.
It’d help if they’d stop letting their partners release phones like the G1 right against their products. Perl Flip vs G1, no-brainer as to which one people choose.
Yeah…it’s going to be a crazy quarter for RIM. I pointed out how the 800k fewer unit sales vs. the iPhone last quarter will most likely change in the next two quarters when ‘all’ of the new RIM models are released. What I’m going to find interesting is how they market the Javelin in the first half of next year after all these releases. Consumer or Business? Both? Sure, but then what about the Bold? And which carrier gets it first?
They do need to spread the releases out a bit to share the spotlight, but I think they do it this way because the releases are just before the holidays and multiple releases can hide one failed release in it’s quarterly reporting…or at least cushion it and not create an emphasis on that particular model if the other models are doing well in sales.
One Storm, one Javelin and I think I’m done for the next year or so.
“I pointed out how the 800k fewer unit sales vs. the iPhone last quarter will most likely change in the next two quarters when ‘all’ of the new RIM models are released”
are you also taking into account possible counter moves by apple?
what happens if apple lowers the price of the current iPhones or introduces a $100 iPhone nano or make it available on multiple carriers?
apple certainly won’t just sit back and watch RIM regain their lead without trying to fend them off.
Keep dreaming. The Storm will sell well, but don’t think for a minute it will outsell the iphone.
I didn’t say that that the Storm would outsell the BlackBerry.
What I said was that more AT&T BlackBerry users will leave AT&T to get the Storm than Verizon BlackBerry users leave Verizon iPhone.
“I think, however, RIM forgets that with the exception of Verizon, carrier loyalty really doesn’t mean much.”
May be so generally, but I’d have thought that users with BB data plans will think twice before jumping ship. Small print, ie extra for BES? 3G coverage? Billing issues? Roaming costs?
The devil you know etc…