A couple of weeks ago, Blackberry announced that a mystery partner had purchased 1 million of its Blackberry Z10 devices. It wouldn’t say who the partner was, but that it was a huge confidence boost for both the company and consumers alike. The announcement was enough to boost its shares up 8.2%. While it was speculated that the mysterious partner had to be a major carrier like AT&T or Verizon Wireless, it turns out that the partner was actually a wireless distributor by the name of Brightstar.
Brightstar is a big, wireless distributor that distributes products all around the world. About 40% of its revenue was composed of Blackberry handset sales a couple of years ago. Brightstar had enough confidence in Blackberry’s new product in order to place such a massive order, and since it operates globally, it has a better chance, than AT&T and Verizon Wireless, to resell all of its Blackberry Z10 devices.
Brightstar also acts as a buffer for companies like Verizon Wireless. Mark Gerber, managing director at Detwiler Fenton, a Research House, stated that Verizon is using Brightstar to “handle the big-box retail and dealer agent channels” for the Blackberry Z10. Gerber believes that Verizon Wireless doesn’t have enough faith in the Blackberry Z10, otherwise it would sell the product on its own.
Operating through a 3rd party is Verizon’s safety net if the Z10 doesn’t do well on its network. It’s a conscientious move on Verizon’s part. Goldman Sachs’s research showed that the Blackberry Z10’s launch on AT&T was disappointing. The firm checked over 20 various AT&T, Best Buy, and Radio Shack stores to confirm their research. However, the firm did say that it wasn’t the product itself that was bad, but the company’s and Blackberry’s lack of marketing support for the device.
[via All Things D]