BlackBerry is willing to try new things. Take BlackBerry 10 for example; it’s a completely new platform for the company and they’re willing to take risks in order to attempt to gain more market share. However, one thing they won’t do is sell phones under $50. BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins says that this would be out of the ordinary for the company.
During a Q&A conference at BlackBerry’s headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario in Canada, Heins said that “you will not see [BlackBerry] getting into the 50-, 60-buck phone segment. This is not BlackBerry.” The company has no plans to manufacturer budget phones for developing countries. BlackBerry recently launched the Z10 in India for an unsubsidized $800.
Instead of budget phones, Heins mentioned that the company plans to release new phones “based on BlackBerry 10, all fully LTE-capable, the whole 10 yards, that are more geared towards those price bands where people need to be.” In other words, expect paying a couple hundred dollars for a new BlackBerry device on contract.
While $800 for an unsubsidized BlackBerry Z10 may seem like a steep price, Heins notes that the phone sold out in India after two days, even though the company supplied five days of inventory to the country based on realistic sales estimates. This may seem surprising, but India accounts for around 20% of BlackBerry’s Asia-Pacific sales.