By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Bedminster, N.J. – Verizon Wireless became the first national carrier to commit to selling the BlackBerry Z30 with 5-inch HD display, but only through its online store beginning in November.
Verizon’s website says the big-screen smartphone device will be exclusive to Verizon, which is pricing it at $199 with new two-year activation. Under the Verizon Edge upgrade plan without contract, the phone is priced at $22.91 per month for 24 months. The phone, unveiled in September, sports the biggest screen from BlackBerry to date and comes with updated BlackBerry 10.2 OS.
The new Z30 features 5-inch Super AMOLED display, 1.7 GHz CPU, quad-core graphics processor and largest battery of any BlackBerry phone at 2,880 mAh, said to deliver up to 25 hours of “mixed use.”
Verizon didn’t say whether the Z30 would come later to its brick-and-mortar stores or to indirect retailers.
The Verizon announcement follows last month’s BlackBerry announcement that it is refocusing its marketing efforts on the prosumer and enterprise markets and follows this month’s announcement that it began selling unlocked phones direct to consumers.
Although the company is focusing on prosumers and enterprises, the company is not exiting the consumer market, global retail VP Robert Perry told TWICE. Instead, he said, “We are taking a more focused approach, and we’ll be delivering solutions that address the needs of consumers who value a productivity experience. We feel that’s an area and a segment where we can win, where we can deliver a differentiated and competitively superior solution.”
Perry noted, “BlackBerry’s core strength has always been security and providing people with the tools to get things done,” he continued. “Our focus is on these people. They are people from all walks of life who need to get things done. It’s more about tools than toys. BlackBerry is focusing our attention to this core group of consumers. It’s about making sure that we clearly communicate the BlackBerry advantage to this core group, who value getting things done.”
In addition, he said, “we are not changing our distribution strategy. We will continue to ensure that our products are displayed and sold via our carrier partners — based on carrier preference — and key retailers, as well as our business channels.” Direct selling through BlackBerry.com “is a key extension of our distribution strategy, which is designed to be complementary to our reseller channels,” he said.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.