Seeking Alpha

Verizon to be BlackBerry's exclusive U.S. launch partner for the Z30

  • BlackBerry (BBRY -0.4%) has confirmed Verizon will be the exclusive launch partner for its 5" BB10 flagship, and will sell the phone for $200 with a 2-year contract. The company declined to comment on whether the phone would eventually be sold by other U.S. carriers.
  • CNET points out Verizon doesn't appear to be "providing any special promotional or marketing support" for the Z30, which arrives following a quarter in which BlackBerry took a $934M inventory charge (mostly related to the Z10) and had BB10 sell-through of only 1.7M units (BB7 sell-through totaled 4.2M).
Comments (25)
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (2015) | Send Message
     
    Had one in my hand today. Mighty fine device.
    28 Oct 2013, 04:13 PM Reply Like
  • mikebator
    , contributor
    Comments (815) | Send Message
     
    Using one for the last few weeks. Loving it and every one is surprised it's a Blackberry, too bad theirs all this negativity as one friend said "Now that's sexy and slick, I'll buy one next year if they are around" as he acknowledged that it was superior to his i5s.
    28 Oct 2013, 04:29 PM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (7997) | Send Message
     
    "Had one in my hand today. Mighty fine device."

     

    haha !
    We'll just leave it at that ;-)
    28 Oct 2013, 05:50 PM Reply Like
  • Andreas Hopf
    , contributor
    Comments (7971) | Send Message
     
    Next up is the $1bn inventory charge related to the Q10 and Z30. Prem Watsa will probably bail out in 4 days, with no financing for the remaining 90% secured. The sooner this sorry mess is over, the better.
    28 Oct 2013, 04:21 PM Reply Like
  • Badonkadonk
    , contributor
    Comments (234) | Send Message
     
    They didn't have the cash on hand to over build the Z30, so I'm doubtful. Q10 sell through ensure good, but Q5 may be a lagging device since it isn't priced against other entry Level offerings.
    28 Oct 2013, 05:53 PM Reply Like
  • Crispin_in_Waterloo
    , contributor
    Comments (1057) | Send Message
     
    What if Verizon has a punitive contract with Apple to sell millions of iPhones? Why would they promote Z10's? Every time they sell a Z10 it is probably another iPhone sale lost with its attendant penalty from Apple.

     

    The USA has the strangest cell phone market. Some friends arrived from overseas for a conference and were literally unable to obtain a local SIM card anywhere without buy a phone to go with it. I don't think the average man-in-the-street is aware of how advanced the rest of the world is.

     

    If you try to sell a 'locked phone' overseas people would just laugh at you. Are these $200 Z10's going to be locked as well as only available on one carrier?
    28 Oct 2013, 04:22 PM Reply Like
  • LoganSix
    , contributor
    Comments (292) | Send Message
     
    You would think some sort of anti-trust investigation would be coming from the Federal government or something.
    28 Oct 2013, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (2488) | Send Message
     
    Crispin,

     

    The Verizon story, appropriate for Halloween, is creepily old news. VZ was on the hook, midyear, for twice as many iPhones as it sold last year. So, six months to sell 4X the number of devices. And yet there were ads for Sony and BBRY and Samsung and some Applefans were pointing out if you went to a VZ store, the salespeople would try and sell you a Samsung. What gives?

     

    Clearly, Apple has reassured VZ and, to a much lesser extent T and Sprint, that they can just make it up to them later. Just over half of the smartphones VZ sold were Apples, so they are doing a good job for APPL. As for the Samsung flavor to the sales floor, Apple does not offer much promotional support whereas Samsung offers cash incentives to sell certain devices. I know you've always believed that salespeople always had only YOUR best interest at heart, but apparently not..

     

    As for the bandwidth issue, doesn't VZ use sort of a weird bandwidth that isn't compatible? You may be able to purchase a SIM that works or figure out a software hijack to work on another network.

     

    Until there is a definitive answer to whether BlackBerry will be around as a legit option in the future, do not expect these to sell well.
    28 Oct 2013, 04:43 PM Reply Like
  • Cliff Hilton
    , contributor
    Comments (1499) | Send Message
     
    Come on Z30, I have one last Curve to trade in. The little woman gets the ever present Z10. I'm lov'n it.
    28 Oct 2013, 04:23 PM Reply Like
  • Badonkadonk
    , contributor
    Comments (234) | Send Message
     
    VZW version has Wireless charging support as well, which is missing from other global Z30 devices. I expect there was some contractual obligations on both sides to get this.

     

    Given S bailed on the Z10 not too surprised there, but the shipping version in Canada will cover ATT and TMO bands, so a bit surprised they are not going to range it. Maybe BlackBerry will sell direct online unlocked units, like Google does with Nexus?
    28 Oct 2013, 05:57 PM Reply Like
  • newportironman
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    I'm just glad it's coming and at a surprising price. I had heard $299 which would have stalled the thing. Posted from a Q10 browser. Yes that dead OS and company everyone loves to pile on...
    28 Oct 2013, 05:57 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Truse
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    BBRY back where AAPL was when it traded down to $6.

     

    This is the turnaround of the decade - SECURITY (NSA-Proof) will be the marketing mantra that brings Blackberry back - all the way back.

     

    Truck been backed up, and loading. For institutional traders, it's the best spread trade ($ weighted) of the decade (L BBRY, S AAPL).
    29 Oct 2013, 02:10 AM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (2488) | Send Message
     
    Interesting Joe T.,

     

    I always considered it a coin flip over Watsa's success. If holders had a painful loss, it didn't cost much to double down and lower the breakeven. If the deal gets financed & approved at $9, at least you made a bit on the upside.

     

    But suppose between the pension funds and the outside corporations and the competing efforts of the founders NOTHING comes together and Watsa's offer expires. I think there is no reason to presume immediate failure, but are all the shareholders content to let this gang of poltroons continue to use their best judgement to guide BBRY to safer shores? Would you be happy with decisions they might make to sell off portions of the business? After all, these are top-notch executives, right? They have looked out for you and the company so well...

     

    If it were me, I'd want some fresh faces in the executive desks and on the BOD. All of that would take months. Are there people on the board with the kind of crises experience to run things well and safely until TH and most of his geniuses are gone? During the period of turmoil can progress be made with the BB10 system or the BES expansion? What is the public thinking about this?

     

    In other words, it might get real messy. So my HOPE for the lingering longs, is that they get out quickly and safely. I think a bidding war is about as likely as seeing steak on the menu at McDonald's, but business can be surprising at times. Who would have expected to find BBRY down here? But if neither of those happen, whoever stays on board through thick and thin will redefine the definition of "a patient investor."

     

    Related joke: A man rushed into a busy doctor's surgery and shouted, "Doctor! I think I'm shrinking!"

     

    The doctor calmly responded, "Now, settle down. You'll just have to be a little patient."
    29 Oct 2013, 02:45 AM Reply Like
  • juliano trader
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
     
    My Z10 is perfect, just love it.
    29 Oct 2013, 09:33 AM Reply Like
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (2015) | Send Message
     
    now imagine the Z10 bigger and better and you have the Z30, going to be a hit.
    29 Oct 2013, 09:39 AM Reply Like
  • mikebator
    , contributor
    Comments (815) | Send Message
     
    I've, had it for a few weeks now. Stunning. My eyes just started to go and I found SimCity so switched back to the z from the Q and loved it again so getting the 30 i'm just so happy like a kid in a candy store.
    30 Oct 2013, 09:01 AM Reply Like
  • Crazy Mazy
    , contributor
    Comments (434) | Send Message
     
    Of the Z30 is a superior product.The problem is nobody knows that until they actually try one. That's the key to the Z30 success, Blackberry has to find a way to get it into people hands to try it. It's that simple.
    29 Oct 2013, 09:49 PM Reply Like
  • mikebator
    , contributor
    Comments (815) | Send Message
     
    @ crazy,

     

    The price is better and for some reason I got it on a two year for 104 cdn at Bell on launch day a couple of weeks ago. I haven't done a contract in years but 104 I took it.
    30 Oct 2013, 09:03 AM Reply Like
  • Crazy Mazy
    , contributor
    Comments (434) | Send Message
     
    lets hope the idiot sales people at Verizon don't tell customers not to buy the Z30 because Blackberry is going out of business.
    29 Oct 2013, 09:50 PM Reply Like
  • Andreas Hopf
    , contributor
    Comments (7971) | Send Message
     
    Blackberry will be in business until Monday, so they can probably sell three more devices. The write-downs for the Q10 and Z30 will be monstrous.
    30 Oct 2013, 05:35 PM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (2488) | Send Message
     
    I heard that Verizon asked them to be delivered to Verizon's rail warehouse in Buffalo, NY. That is a quick and inexpensive way to return them to Waterloo when appropriate.
    30 Oct 2013, 08:20 PM Reply Like
  • Crazy Mazy
    , contributor
    Comments (434) | Send Message
     
    Wow Mike that was one hell of a deal! If they continue selling it at this price it would get a lot of attention.
    30 Oct 2013, 10:56 PM Reply Like
  • Crazy Mazy
    , contributor
    Comments (434) | Send Message
     
    Andy isn't obvious that with the anti trust agreement Apple has with Verizon that customers are going to be told not to buy Blackberry smartphones. After all a Blackberry sale is one less. Iphone,which means a bigger penalty FROM APPLE!
    30 Oct 2013, 10:57 PM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (2488) | Send Message
     
    Mazy,

     

    You have to wait a week. If PW comes through, regardless of how he's bundled his list of donors, BBRY as a company will be once again in contention. The phones, from those you barely remember to those that never got off the drawing boards will probably not retake the planet as you hope because, frankly, the public doesn't care anymore and BBRY doesn't have the time or resources to prove them wrong.

     

    But whatever PW and his allies do will be out of your hands and off the table.

     

    There is a chance that someone steps up and overbids PW. They don't need to offer the moon because despite what many seem to think, free downloads are not the same as real money. Maybe they would do it because PW doesn't have much more than a hunch he can make money from the skeleton of BlackBerry, yet someone with a business of their own might find the assimilation more profitable.

     

    Just as I believe the arrival of a new bidder is not likely, it is slightly possible that PW couldn't find enough other souls with enough billions and lots of faith. If the deal collapses, the $9 becomes a magician's illusion and everyone who bought in at $8 looking for a quick $1 will suddenly realize that was not a great investment approach. I can't guess where it will fall, but the 52 week low of $7.51 will seem pleasant by comparison.

     

    And whether it is acquired or falls back into its own hands, the owners, new or old, will want to have some fresh faces at the table where they make decisions, because the current board and upper management have missed far too often. They will be offered sums for portions of the businesses that BlackBerry represents.

     

    I had a notion recently that Apple might bid for devices in much the same way that MSFT went for Nokia's mobile business. Apple's high-priced phones can only do a small slice in the huge markets in Asia and India. BlackBerry has been there for years with good acceptance and distribution. These would not be the phones you are so proud of, but the $200 and under legacy phones that are, in those markets, affordable.

     

    I am wary of my own spin on that possibility because it would be a rare admission of a missed strategy for Apple. But time will tell.

     

    But don't worry about how Verizon is going to treat your devices. In a week it will hardly matter.
    31 Oct 2013, 01:56 AM Reply Like
  • Crazy Mazy
    , contributor
    Comments (434) | Send Message
     
    There is no doubt the Z30 is an amazing phone. I know it sounds silly, but i would of bought a Z30 just from holding in my hand, and how it feels. You can tell its a solid and good looking phone, just by the feel of it. And the display is truly amazing! After holding' a Z30 in your hand and putting it to your ear, you know its far superior to an Iphone. The phone feels like a toy when you hold it in your hand. When you put it to your ear, you feel the hard edge which is uncomfortable. If you were using the Iphone all day you would start to notice how uncomfortable it is. Oh and what about Samsung products? Don't drop one or you will be picking it up in pieces LOL.
    I don't even have to tell you it feels cheap in your hand. The Apple although it feels like a toy it at least looks more robust.
    31 Oct 2013, 03:58 AM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Tools
Find the right ETFs for your portfolio:
Seeking Alpha's new ETF Hub
ETF Investment Guide:
Table of Contents | One Page Summary
Read about different ETF Asset Classes:
ETF Selector

Next headline on your portfolio:

|