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Retailers in India have sold through their initial stock of the BlackBerry Z3

By Bla1ze on 14 Jul 2014 10:10 am EDT
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When the BlackBerry Z3 was announced for India, many folks were watching and waiting to see how the device would be priced in the region as that would be a good sign of how well the device would sell. At the time of the announcement, some were upset at that price of Rs. 15,990 but then it started arriving at retailers with even deeper discount attached to it and according to the Economic Times India, those discounts have helped push much of initial stock in India.

"We've sold about 75 per cent of the stock that we got," Himanshu Chakrawarti, chief executive at The Mobile Store, told ET. "The Z3 has done well so far, benefiting from the easy installment options and discounts."

"It is true that we have been almost stocked out (for Z3)," said Sameer Bhatia, Director of distribution, BlackBerry India.

The lower pricing, ability to run Android apps and overall quality of the BlackBerry Z3 has been helping push people on older BlackBerry devices onto BlackBerry 10 as noted by Chennai-based retail chain UniverCell's founder Satish Babu who noted 'the device has become an option for ardent BlackBerry fans among young customers looking to upgrade from the ubiquitous Curve 8520 in the sub-Rs 20,000 price range.'

As for numbers of devices sold, the report mentions 25,000 to 30,000 BlackBerry Z3's have been imported into India for sale at large retailers such as Flipkart, The Mobile Store and UniverCell. That all sounds great for Z3 sales but also, let's not forget the Z10 and Z30 have also had price reductions in India recently and while the numbers on those sales haven't been mentioned, they've surely also been helping BlackBerry in India.

Reader comments

Retailers in India have sold through their initial stock of the BlackBerry Z3

138 Comments

I saw what you did there. And regarding the 25-30k phones, I don't see that as an impressive number at all, considering the 1.5+billion Indian population. Am I wrong here?

Posted via CB10

Ya I was thinking 25-30K doesn't sound that good to me. Are expectations that low that these numbers are considered a success?

Posted via CB10

25-30K is quite good compared to what they sold before the Z3 came out. Just look at the number of handsets sold in the last quarter worldwide so 25-30K in one country in a few weeks isn't bad. The important thing is maintaining a steady pace of sales.

Foxconn has a say in how it gets sold because they control the inventory. They are probably better at gauging demand in markets than blackberry just from the sheer volume of phone they produce. I see it as positive because it means they are efficiently managing their inventories

Posted via CB10

At first the number seemed a tad low to me too. Still, we should remember that this is a just-in-time world of production. It means that BlackBerry and Foxconn managed to estimate initial demand well. No big overstock gathering dust. I also take this as a signal that Foxconn is not looking for big numbers out of their partnership initially, and is instead looking for an opportunity to grow organically.

It's batches of 30,000 to 50,000 phones delivered regularly across several markets that will get us to 10 million + per year. That will be enough for BlackBerry to keep on making the phones we love.

Posted via CB10

Yes, I think your perspective is pretty much right on. I was thinking too, the Z3 should have a fairly consistent sales rate, not a big number at first then drop off. Hopefully it will continue to ramp at a steady rate and maybe increase a bit.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

No you are not. Base on the India population and how BlackBerry suppose to be quite popular over there this number is minuscule. A good positive sale will need at least 10 times of this number as a start. It will not have that immediate impact of BB10 getting notice in the consumer market. Now we'll just have to see if Z3 existence in India can continue to increase the attention over the next few months.

True, but Blackberry imported only 30K phones in the last 2 weeks. check this link https://www.zauba.com
This link shows all the products imported into India. I think Blackberry is cautious in managing inventory. Price it right, they can easily sell few millions Z3.

Considering BlackBerry still has a pretty good reputation in India, it's not a very confident endorsement of it's own product. The number is a further indication of BlackBerry depletion of it's consumer market share. Did Indonesia launched had the similar numbers? If these two countries are the best hope for BlackBerry one can imagine any launches at other countries and region is not going to get much higher in terms of sales. We are talking about a couple hundred of thousands unit of Z3 within 3 months. What I do hope though is, this is the bottom of the pit for BlackBerry and from here on the only way is up. For those who are crying why BlackBerry do not make more phone with the latest specs, it's the sad reality that they can't sell enough to justify the production at all.

This isn't Apple which launches just one/two phones a year so there's pent up demand. BB already launched a number of other phones already, plus the price reductions on other BB10 devices mentioned above. We need to see the overall numbers and how they compare to last quarter.

most of the 1.5 +billion population live on "poverty income". 25 -30K phones is better than nothing. Hope you are not putting BlackBerry in same league as iPhone or Samsung. BlackBerry is just beginning to dig itself out of a "deep ditch"; it will take time to regain high volume sales at launch of BB10 devices.

Hundreds of millions, perhaps. There's a few very rich, and then everybody else.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

A mobile device may be out of reach for a big chunk of India's population. Still, many could make the leap if there was the right value proposition. For example -
- Information on prices at local markets coming in through dedicated BBM Channels, saving vendors travel time and getting them the best price for their goods.
- Locally appropriate learning resources through apps. (Parents around the world want the best for their kids.
- BBM Money to safely manage financial transactions and services in areas where bricks and mortar facilities are scarce.
- Provide reasonable financing options for devices, as an alternative to unofficial money lenders and their inflated interest rates.

Posted via CB10

"Mobile device out of reach for majority of Indians" you surely must be living in a closet.

Smartphone penetration in India might be low but close to 75% of the population is connected through cell phones that roughly comes to 900 million people using cellphones.

And this link here (http://techcircle.vccircle.com/2014/05/29/india-had-third-largest-smartp...) can add precious information in your tiny knowledge trove.

So all those saying bullshit about what Indians can afford or not afford, read before you comment.

If BlackBerry is not able to sell, it has got nothing to Indians not able to afford it..

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

LOL!! It seems to me you have selective amnesia or maybe you can't even read your link properly.
Excerpts from your link "India ranks third among the top countries for smartphone users with an estimated 117 million subscribers, behind only China and the US. But the penetration of smartphones as a percentage of mobile users in India is pegged at just 10 per cent, the lowest among the top 30 smartphone".
How did you translate 117 million subscribers to equate 900 million people using cellphones?
How did you get 10% of the population to equate 75% of the population?
Do you think you are talking to morons? SMH Quit over exaggerating things to people you don't even know.
My advise to you, don't take things so personally. Nobody is trying to insult Indians
Oh finally, do you realize that some phones are classified as "Dumb phones"?

@Wincy
You are commenting like an absolute idi*t. Do a simple search on Google and you will see that India is one of biggest smartphone markets right now. From your comments, it seems you have never stepped outside your country. T

Your comment shows you have serious reading and understanding problems. 117 million is the smartphone subscriber base which is only 10 percent of total mobile subscribers. Lol!! That itself should give you the figure of over a billion mobile phone users.

This link ( http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommunications_statistics_in_India ) should be able to make you see the 900 million mobile subscribers I was talking about.

I don't intend to argue with strangers, more so not on a tech community website and I don't take things personally either.. But what you said there about "Poverty Income", I do take offense to that. Discuss the company making a product, not the people not buying the product. It's not people's fault for not buying BlackBerry.

And stay humble my friend! It doesn't hurt.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

@Samir
Never mind, he is mathematically challenged, most in the west are. Don't expect him to get basic arithmetic right.

Apple sold over 30,000 units of iPhone 5s alone in India in last quarter of 2013 and that doesn't include 5c and iPhone 4s and 5 sale.

Considering this, 25-30k of Z3 is not impressive. Indians attach high aspirational value to products like smartphones. BlackBerry lost their crown of being aspirational in India long time back.

BlackBerry India has started giving out advertisements in Newspaper recently. Let's see what the future brings..

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

:) Is that a typo that "Apple sold over 30,000 units of iPhone 5s alone in India in last quarter of 2013 and that doesn't include 5c and iPhone 4s and 5 sale."?
The last time I checked 30,000 units is same thing as 30K units.

Dude... what's wrong with you? In your quest of probably replying as soon as possible, you don't read and understand first.

If Apple sells same quantity for a phone which is priced $650 more than Z3.. then Z3 should sell more.. that's what I was suggesting on.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

:) Unfortunately I don't read minds; maybe you should make sure to say what you mean properly or clearly.

@Wincy
What do you mean by most of the population live on a poverty income? Middle class in India alone is more than population of entire US and Canada combined. World is changing fast. To put these sale number in perspective, smartphones sales in India are estimated to reach 225 million, with 207 million bought by first-timers in 2014. In fact, India will soon be the second biggest market for smartphones, after China.
I like Blackberry but 25-30K is not good at all but I can see that if they price Z3 bit lower, the volume might increase.

Not wrong.... mean that only about 4% of the devices sold in that period were BlackBerry devices. While that isn't too bad, sales during a launch most always fall a lot after the initial "hype".

https://www.zauba.com/import-blackberry-z3-hs-code.html

Shows about 23K devices have been imported... that is pretty close to what is being reported. Either Zauba doesn't cover all of the importers or the sales numbers might include some back-orders. Either way it makes this an interesting site to track how BlackBerry is doing in India.

Despite what others are saying. I don't think the number is that bad. The question is how many people were upgrading or in the market for a new smartphone in the past few weeks. In a country of 1.2 Billion, how many can afford a smartphone? How many needed an upgrade? How many were seriously looking at their options. Their is a lot of mobile devices to choose from. This number can only grow and I think it is good number for their first week. I know it's not millions of devices, that would be fantastic, but being realistic doesn't mean we can't be optimistic.

Posted via CB10

You are right 25-30k phones sold are definitely not a huge number( seen in the light of John chen's target of 10 million pcs/year... it is very poor).But, what I have observed there is a little bit of advertising on Radio and in print where as earlier there was virtually no news excepting for an odd article or so in the newspapers & it was mostly about the health of the company.However Like else where in the world BBRY still has traction as far devices go only BB India needs to step up & put in strident effort

If BlackBerry restocks in India 3-4x over the quarter and continues to add countries....the 1.6 million BlackBerry phones sold last quarter will be doubled this quarter

Don't forget that BlackBerry is coming from a very low handset number to begin with....

Founding Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile

@Koepman,
"But not all live in the city and have a great income" India is a huge market for smartphones but most of them are value buyers. If Blackberry prices Z3 competitively then they can sell millions of them in a quarter in India.

Z3 is doomed in India. One of their mistake in Indonesia was not enough stocks at the right time, example: no stock at cellphone exhibition in Jakarta. No stock when launching. this was Blackberry strategy to show that Z3 was "sold out". Now, nobody is buying because they were already disappointed.
Now they are doing it again, only importing 25-30K phones. And it was not "sold out".
Foxconn seems to know that Z3 will not be successful in India.

He only said it was "good news", everytime you sold out of something seems like good news to me no matter how many it is.

Posted via CB10

not that good for a country that has 1.2 billion people. They are rebuilding the damaged BlackBerry brand. Just like Marky said, "baby steps" for now. As long as they are making profit off them. That's all they can ask for.

Awesome news! Keep it rollin...

Posted with a Verizon Z30 running 10.3.0.296/699 and CB10. [URL="bbmc:C0004F9BB"] My channel with zero subscribers but has Frenchie pics :) [/URL]

Good seeing Chen understands the pricing game. Need volume in order to get apps. This is what should've bee done long ago.

You need to just go away with your negative Nancy attitude. Developers will go wherever there's money to be had.

BB10 is the least saturated platform = easiest to make money.

But i don't really know the future of it since Chen seems to be trying to shut it down. with scoreloop and amazon but I can't tell right now until 10.3 comes out and the amazon deal is in full effect.

I personally don't think he gets consumers=enterprise and vise versa, but then again mike and jim didn't either.

Chen has stated that Enterprise will lead to handset adoption. So the concentration is on the low hanging fruit at this time because the consumer market is too expensive to win if you rely on marketing. That said, Cascades and other native SDKs keeps getting improvements which tells me native developer tools are still important. I hope Chen understands that native apps is what most people prefer, but it's good to have Android apps to fill the gaps.

I'm right where you are. But this BYOD thing is the reason why BlackBerry Devices are getting phased out of enterprise. People wants all around apps not just business apps.
Hopefully he sees this.

On the other hand, the business apps that people need aren't on the platform and there is much more choice on windows/android/iphone.
Examples: take a look at CFM, VPN and Office Apps.

So in reality people can't use it as a business or consumer device really. There is no strength on either side. That's why it's stuck in the middle at "prosumer".

And it is precisely these business apps that will be the target of all the internal BlackBerry developer relations expertise. I just hope they don't shut off all support for smaller devs who want to make use of the Cascades/ QT to make native apps that may not be enterprise/ productivity focused. I realize there will be less support, since Dev relations got axed, but surely there are less direct ways to provide support.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Dude birdman you are nothing but a Troll. You have something negative and a nasty attitude about everything you post. If you don't give a damn then why are you here?

Go run off and get data minded and stuffed with adds on apple and android.

Posted by Antoniius via my sexy Gold and White Q10.

You are only a realist when both sets (positive and negative potential outcomes) are included in any situational analysis. Your analysis typically veers directly to the negative because (my interpretation) you imagine you are the only (or one of a small select group) "realist " around here and we need to be straightened out by someone.....

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

"Lol here come the insults when a realist comes in and there's no valid retorts."
... says the guy who made the initial unsupported statement.

BlackBerry is phasing out their Dev Relations team and has opted instead for a third party app store.
Is that "supported" enough for ya?

We all read that news, the difference is in the interpretation of what that means precisely. Certainly Native enterprise/ productivity app development is still very much a focus, the question is how much support can a Dev anticipate if they are not building enterprise grade productivity apps? No hand holding for sure, but they tools are there to be made use of. Some clarification along these lines from the top would be appreciated by many.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

well try building an app with charts thanks to cascades... and you'll see where we are with native development even for enterprises. And I'm not talking of cascades multi touch APIs, Qt5...

I got mine brought over from Indonesia. It's a good handset. Not as fast as the Z30 but good enough. I am using this in Europe while waiting for the Passport.

Demobigen (Powered by Blackberry® Z3)

Sounds great! We'll until you find out its only 30,000 devices, I was expecting at least a million by now in such a huge market :s

Posted via CB10

It's still better than producing a lot more phones than. Are needed only have to write them down later. And Foxconn can produce. Ore handsets as needed.

(not exactly sure what write down means, I just remember them having to do that with the pb and the z10 because they made too many and didn't sell enough. )

I guess it would also give the impression to consumers (not people on CB) that the phone is 'hot' harder to get which to some people it makes it more attractive.

Posted via CB10 I

Reducing the book value of an asset because it is overvalued compared to the market value. i.e. Blackberry shows the product in their inventory at $500 but the real value of that product at the market is $250. So they write down the value for accounting

It's a huge market, but there are still less than 20 percent of the population buying smartphones here, and most of them are buying Android phones, especially the cheap yet feature-packed locally-made ones (and some are also buying Windows Phone's cheaper devices like the Lumia 520/525/630.) BlackBerry killed itself with extremely bad pricing when BB 10 launched (Indian consumers are extremely price sensitive, so it was only natural that, for example, the Z10 saw no uptake at a launch price of $700) so not a lot of folks are shifting from other OS.

This is the first Z3 numbers that we've gotten since it came out...still want to hear how well they've been selling in Indonesia. I guess we'll know eventually...but regardless, reception seems solid overall. Loving the positive vibes...

Pimp slappin iGeeks and Droinerds with my Q10

Good to hear this, but as far as I know there is not even a single advertise of BlackBerry z3, at least in Hyderabad ( one of the biggest cities of INDIA) .

Posted via CB10

"Retailers in India have sold through their initial stock" vs. "We've sold about 75 per cent of the stock that we got"

"Some retailers have sold their initial stock" could have been rather more accurate than this. I agree with this poster.

Posted via CB10

And if BlackBerry India comes out with at least a 15 seconds add for TV it would help the sales a lot, I hope Ranbhir Kapoor (one of bollywood's biggest Star ) is still with BlackBerry as it's ambassador.

Posted via CB10

When do you guys think Blackberry will release total Z3 sales? Do we really have to wait for the next earnings report? That kind of makes me worried. If the sales were going well then I would have expected to hear something from BlackBerry by now. Maybe Chen is waiting for a strategic time to announce it in order to keep BlackBerry stocks rolling and momentum up for the Passport launch.

The real question is was the initial stock shipped set low to see what demand would be, or was it a question of the supply channel needing more time to manufacture larger shipments?

This makes me a little sad. If India and Indonesia were the best markets to hit then the $6M (30,000 units at an average USD200) in sales from India can mean what for all the other launches in total? Let's assume 5x for Indonesia and the same for Middle east, and Africa as India since they were launched later. 30M Indonesia + 6M India +6M Middle east + 6M Africa will only add 48-50M USD to quarterly sales. Obviously I hope I'm light on the estimates but by how much? Hopefully backorders are high and they can build and ship more units.

Considering Chen said at the AGM that BlackBerry only needed $10 million in sales to make the hardware side of the business profitable, I'd say that $48-50 million would look pretty good on the balance sheet, especially since those are sales figures for a single quarter.

That's 30,000 in two weeks.
x6.5 (13 weeks in a quarter)
= 195,000/quarter
= $ 40 million in sales.

Not terrible!

I knew it would do great. People were concerned or its priced too high it won't sell blah blah blah.....good stuff blackberry :)

Posted via CB10

Unfortunately that's the case around the world. :( even here in Southern Ontario. Chen is is doing a better job getting the word out there and is more engaging than the last CEO. However, there still needs to be more advertising done world wide.

Posted via CB10

I was hoping that with BlackBerry not spending their annual marketing budget on Alicia Keys anymore that things would improve in that department. But I guess they STILL don't know how to market a damn thing.

Posted via CB10

Got to wonder if they released a $200 5" LTE phone in North America if it would sell.

Posted via CB10

25000?. I'm glad there is uptake but this is a very small amount. I'm hoping that the reduced z10 sales were at least double that!

From my z30

Eh - it's not that good: 30K units in a few weeks is nothing to cheer. I'd guess the Z3 seems to be selling pretty slowly, but to know for sure I'd love to see numbers for other device sales in the same market.

That said, I'm glad that they appear to have a better handle on handset inventory now.

Motorola sold 1 million smartphones in India last year. It is all about pricing. If Blackberry price it right it can easily sell few million Z3 phones in a year.

BlackBerry probably had tons of Z10 hangout out in the inventory considering the write down they took.

Posted via CB10

25k-30k is good because it will be in people's hands all over the street

Loving my black Q10 and white Z10 and ordered the white Z30

I'm indecisive about whether or not this is great news. It's definitely good news but I'm concerned about the numbers. 30k over two weeks would mean 52weeks x 15k(a week) = 780k devices a year which is assuming they maintain the same throughput AND have consistent supply. India is supposed to be one of their last stalwarts so I hope the low numbers are more due to the fact that people are buying the z10 instead of people just not buying blackberry at all.

Chen said he needs 10 million devices sold to be profitable on handsets. I think he needs 10 million devices to remain relevant.

It's not even one million. Before anybody goes and assumes that I'm digging blackberry, this is more confusion than anything. I guess my question is that a total non States side considered to make them profitable? I hope so because that would mean that the states could eventually see another flagship... Hopefully.

Posted via my sexy Note 3. Big hands ;-)

As long as the number of Z3 sold = profits who cares if is 1000 or 1000000. The number I'd like to see is the break even point. How many need to sell before they break even on the device? If it's 50,000 then we are well on the way.

Posted via CB10

What I find surprising is that we can't find the total BB sales in India anywhere. I have seen a lot of Z10s in my company, no Z30 or Z3. Couple of Q5and Q10.
One astonishing fact was that I know of a few people who were surprised to see that BlackBerry has made a touch phone in my hand!!

Posted via CB10

Before BlackBerry expects to gain market share in India, they should know they have an uphill task ahead. When I wanted to upgrade from BlackBerry Curve to z10, the sales personnel from Univercell, Sangeetha, etc were trashing it, said the company won't be around for more than six months. In fact, at one of the Univercell stores, they were selling z10 for 29,000 rupees when BlackBerry had slashed it to 18,000 rupees. But there still are some hardcore fans here.

Posted via CB10

That is great to hear. I think it's important to not undercut the product's price and sell it at a loss. I think, so far, the device has rec'd great feedback and it would be a shame for it to be sold @ a loss.

-Dustin on his BlackBerry Q10

Z3 is doing well but price reduction is really required. In fact the recent budget has made mobiles cheaper. Hope this reflects on prices soon. Really important factor is the advertisement. I am so disappointed that I didn't see Z3 ad on TV. I heard on radio. I saw an ad on billboard too. But TV does the maximum impact.

Posted by my Q10 filled with awesomeness

It's 1000 a day sold. If each country it launches in does similar sales, then it's in line with Chens expectations of a million sold.

Posted via CB10

I wish to hear such news over here in Germany. Right now when people see my BlackBerry they keep laughing at me for for not having a stupid mainstream advertised phone :(

Posted via CB10

You must not have the BlackBerry z30.

I laugh at people for having tiny iPhones, or battery draining Galaxy phones that always require charging.

If anyone says anything, I tell them the truth. I don't play 'Candy Crush"; I send emails, texts, and browse the web. And the BlackBerry z30 is superior on every one of those tasks. Especially HTML5 web browsing. It has the most standards compliant browser, and that's a fact.

Posted via CB10

If they launch all their phones at good prices , BB will again be a hit seller in India. They made a big mistake with Z10 and Q10 by pricing them at par with iPhone n S4 and HTC One

Posted via CrackBerry App

A company doesn't get rebuilt in a month or a fiscal quarter. The Z3 is a great building block for BlackBerry in an area where they've had great success in the past and we're they'll need success going forward.
Also for the naysayers I would remind them that Apple arose from deaths doorstep and everybody loves a comeback from an underdog and BlackBerry is The Underdog right now.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry has some hardcore fans in India. I know of quite a few in my own friends and work circle. But the fact of the matter is BlackBerry doesn't hold too much aspirational value these days in India.

With the price drop, I have started seeing quite a few Z10's these days but I am yet to come across someone using a Z30. Haven't yet seen Z3 too.

Hope the number only goes up.. BlackBerry comes back to being the 'cool' thing to have like how they were around 3 years back.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

um that is not very many devices 25,000 to 30,000 BlackBerry Z3's I would expect that in Canada but not in India with such a huge population...

30,000 devices in a country the size of India...I bet Apple sells that many every minute...

Though I read somewhere that most z3 sales were being converted to z10 sales, so hopefully the sales of z10's and other models have been picking up as a result of the z3 jyst being there...

Blackberry did not give Z3 to all the retailers. They just imported 1000 dummy phones yesterday to display at retail shop. Expect more numbers by end of this quarter when they expand to more retailers. I also see they imported new Z3 for testing. Is it Dual SIM? If Blackberry comes up with Dual SIM, it will fly. Either come up with Dual SIM or reduce the price and see the take off.

25,000 to 30,000 phones is a very, very small number for a market the size of India.

I honestly do not understand why BlackBerry insists on never bringing enough product into a market to keep the resellers stocked.

It's a bit hard to believe that people have not gotten hip to this "already sold all 5 phones" nonsense by now. You'd think after that failed with the Z10 they would have thought better of that strategy.

They could have doubled that amount for a total additional financial risk of probably about $4.5M. (Actually probably way less than that since Foxconn is taking on the majority of that risk now)

OK, so they had a $1,000,000,000 write-down on Z10s/Q10s last year. Does that _really_ justify this kind of anemic inventory policy in one of the biggest markets in the world?

Hey Guys need your help.
I am willing to buy Z3 here in India but in October I am Moving to Germany.
So confused how am I gonna get BB service in Germany??As Z3 is not launched in Germany is it advisable to buy from India??

Please spend some bucks on advertising. Clearly mention that no dedicated BlackBerry plans are required.

Posted via CB10

Valuable BlackBerry amazing development but BlackBerry honours made a mistake in fixing mobile cost it's too cheaper but sooooooooooooooooo good then all other phones..

Posted via CB10