In the latest quarter Blackberry announced that they would be bringing another BB7 device to the portfolio. This decision made many question the purpose of this phone as the company continues to roll out the latest versions of BlackBerry 10. Many had believed that the BB7 lineup had seen the last investments (hardware) when the 9320 and the 9220 came out in 2012. In reality it should have been the last hardware investments into this lineup. To bring another phone onto market that will hamper your ability to sell the phones that matter to the company going forward is a huge blunder. To sell the phones that people want and that benefit the company the most we need to focus primarily on BlackBerry 10. One thing that the company pushed when they were building BlackBerry 10 and continue to push is focusing. Focusing on the task at hand and focusing the portfolio that it puts in front of the consumers. One area where they are severely lacking is with the carriers and the products they are putting on the shelves. Phones that came out in early 2012 should not be still available as entry level devices for consumers. Telus for example is still trying to sell the BlackBerry Curve 9320 for $29 while it also has the Q5 for $49. Selling the 9320 for 20 dollars cheaper against the Q5 doesn’t benefit Telus and doesn’t benefit BlackBerry. It has come time that BlackBerry needs to buy back the stock of older BlackBerry’s from carriers like Telus, Rogers, AT&T, Verison and have them focus primarily on BlackBerry 10. Flooding the market with new and older devices only adds to the confusion that customers have around BlackBerry and the direction they are headed. It is not beneficial to the company in the long run to continue to sell BlackBerry 7 devices in countries where people can easily afford to buy newer more expensive devices. The market share in the end is the all mighty tool that either helps your lead or keeps you down. I truly hope that this is something that BlackBerry looks at seriously or works with the carriers to sell the phones to emerging markets. North America (Minus Mexico), Europe (eastern) are perfect examples of places that can afford to spend more on a device and don’t need BlackBerry 7 clogging up the market. Most consumers don’t take the time to research what their next phone purchase will be but have perceptions of what a good/crappy device is. If we continue to remind them about the ‘old’ BlackBerry then they will believe that the ‘new’ Blackberry continues those negative traditions.
We need to focus our attention and our minds on getting the most people to BlackBerry 10 as possible. Spending the money on another BlackBerry 7 device is a waste of time and money. For emerging markets the cheaper the phone the better and bringing over 9320, 9220 and 9900 from countries like Canada, US would be a much better option then a new phone. It would focus the developed markets completely on BlackBerry 10 and provide BlackBerry with a way to reduce the inventory sitting in carriers stockrooms across the world. It could also provide BlackBerry with a way to reduce the price per phone that a person would pay and get it into more hands.
So what do you think? Is another BB7 device worth it? Can BB7 and BB10 sell together or should certain countries be primarily 1 or the other?