RIM enthusiastically boasted toward the end of August that carriers love BlackBerry 10 so far, at least based on the progress RIM has made with the upcoming mobile OS. While the carriers’ opinions are presumably still positive, it looks like they’re being careful not to rely too heavily on it. Between the abundance of perfectly adequate phones currently on the market running either iOS, Android, or Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10 is a late and almost unnecessary contribution.
According to Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette, BlackBerry inventory at retail locations as well as shelf space dedicated to the devices have declined significantly.
“Our sell-through checks in the United States indicate that BlackBerry sales were largely unchanged in August versus July; however, we detected meaningfully lower inventory levels versus a month ago,” Faucette reports. “In terms of sell-through, we believe that current run rates are roughly one-fifth of those we saw in the United States just eight months ago. Further, we found a meaningful number of carrier retail locations which had not sold a single BlackBerry in over a month.”
That’s a huge fall in only eight months. Plus, individual carrier locations not selling a BlackBerry for weeks should have RIM even more depressed. There’s really just no reason to buy a BlackBerry anymore over the other options available. Carriers are well aware of that, hence the lack of marketing campaigns for any BlackBerry devices. Consumers are clearly aware, too — they get to pick with their wallets. If the only reason why you buy a BlackBerry is because of that damn keyboard, you are holding yourself back from more technologically advanced smartphones.
As impressive as BlackBerry 10 may be, it’s looking like it’ll be harder than ever for RIM to convince consumers to spend their hard-earned cash on it.