Research In Motion BlackBerry may have to rename itself again. Or Thorstein Heins will have to do a Vogue cover spread. Or the company will have to take a page from the Amazon playbook and revel in its losses (with the help of a few DE Shaw algos of course). Or, worst case, Carl iCahn will have to tweet that his breakfast plans include checking his email on a BlackBerry. Because operationally the company is set to become the functional equivalent of JCP, especially following the latest news from the WSJ that sales of the company's Hail Mary product, the keyboard-equipped Q10, have been "dismal."
From the WSJ:
When BlackBerry Ltd. Chief Executive Thorsten Heins was asked why he decided to start selling the company's new keyboard-equipped smartphone months after a new touch-screen device, he said it was because BlackBerry "owned" the keyboard phone market and could afford to wait.
That decision appears to have backfired. Sales of the keyboard-equipped Q10, which BlackBerry hasn't discussed publicly, have been dismal, according to carrier executives and retailers in the U.S. and Canada.
The official narrative from retailers is even scarier:
Chris Jourdan, who owns and operates 16 Wireless Zone stores in the Midwestern U.S. that sell Verizon Wireless products, said customers didn't show up for the Q10 as expected. His stores only ordered a few of the devices per location and "the handful that sold were returned."
"We saw virtually no demand for the Q10 and eventually returned most to our equipment vendor," he said.
In another indication the new BlackBerry devices aren't selling well, used phone dealers aren't reporting the flood of old BlackBerrys that typically comes when updated devices are released. Jeff Trachsel, chief marketing officer at NextWorth, which buys used electronics, said both the all touch-screen Z10 and Q10 launches were "nonevents" from a trade-in perspective.
"We thought there would be a pocket of die-hard BlackBerry enthusiasts waiting to upgrade, but it seems they have already moved on," he said.
And the conclusion:
"I think we'd all say that the Q10, the one we all thought was going to be the savior, just hit the ground and died," an executive at a Canadian carrier said. "It didn't drive the numbers that anybody expected."
Or as Simple Jack would say, "B-B-B-Blackberry B-B-B-Busted."
And to think that one short decade ago RIM BlackBerry was the end all, be all smartphone accesory. Just like Apple is now.