T-Mobile USA will no longer stock BlackBerry smartphones in-store, with a carrier exec arguing that poor sales meant it was now “inefficient” to have phones on-hand. Despite BlackBerry’s best efforts to push BlackBerry 10, the platform – and devices like the Q10 and Z10 that run it – has failed to gain significant traction. Now, T-Mobile executive vice president for corporate services David Carey has confirmed to Reuters that the dwindling interest means in-store stock will no longer be held.
According to Carey, “keeping stock in the retail distribution system was inefficient.” Consumers, he argued, were not adopting BlackBerry 10 devices in any great scale; instead, business orders were more common, but such customers were unlikely to actually buy in-store.
BlackBerry will continue to have some presence on T-Mobile store shelves, just not in the stock room. “Therefore,” Carey concluded about the carrier’s new sales strategy, “we will display and sell it in the store for those consumers who would like to see one.”
Rumors of a switch to direct-ship sales for BlackBerry broke earlier this month, with an employee at the carrier spilling early details about the change.
However, it’s not the only sign we’ve had that a shift in carrier focus was likely to take place. BlackBerry itself confirmed that it would cease targeting mainstream consumers and instead focus on enterprise clients recently, announcing 4,500 job cuts at the same time.
Since then, a consortium led by Fairfax Financial has announced plans to acquire BlackBerry, with a price of $4.7bn offered. Even with new owners, though, the corporate approach isn’t likely to change; Fairfax will investigate “a long-term strategy in a private company with a focus on delivering superior and secure enterprise solutions to BlackBerry customers around the world.”