Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) – er, BlackBerry Ltd. – is preparing for the launch (finally) of its Z10 handset and new BlackBerry 10 smartphone operating system in the U.S. later this month. But what is curious about the Z10 is that while it has only been on the worldwide market just a few weeks, already some retailers in the U.K. are slashing the price for the unlocked device.
Could this be due to sluggish sales, rather than all the talk about U.K. retail stores running out of devices? To be fair, it could be just to make the device more competitive with similar devices in the marketplace, as Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) – er, BlackBerry Ltd. – had launched its unlocked Z10 for $999. But now there are reports that while all of the versions of the Z10 – including those locked with certain wireless carriers – have seen their prices dropped, this now includes the unlocked device, which has reportedly been cut by 25 percent, to $749 at mobile startup Solavei.
Solavei offers low prices on various unlocked phones. By comparison, the new price on the Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) flagship handset is still on the high end of other unlocked phones sold by Solavei – the iPhone 5 by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sells for $699, and a Samsung Galaxy S III for $575, for example.
Retailers in Europe have been dropping the price of the Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) flagship in recent days, giving indications that sales of the device were not as brisk as once believed. Numbers are not out yet, as the company’s quarterly earnings report comes out later this month. The QWERTY-keyboard version of the phone, the Q10, is due out in a few weeks. Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) announced recently that it will not offer the Z10 but might offer the Q10.
What do you think? Is there something to be made about this dramatic price cut? Is Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) in more trouble than some are letting on, despite favorable reviews of the BB10 operating system? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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