03-22-2013 03:54 PM - edited 03-22-2013 03:57 PM
At AT&T Stores, No Welcome Mat for BlackBerry
The all-touchscreen Z10—seen as critical in helping to resurrect BlackBerry's standing in the market—went on sale Friday at AT&T T +0.53%stores and Best Buy BBY +1.29%outlets in the U.S. Despite the Canadian company's largest-ever marketing push, there was little fanfare at these stores.
AT&T, the first U.S. carrier to begin selling the phones, didn't appear to highlight the Z10 or give it prominent shelf space at its stores.
When a customer asked to see the Z10 at an AT&T store in downtown San Francisco, the store's representatives had to retrieve it from the back. The device hadn't been put out on display at the store's opening because of difficulties setting it up, a store employee said. The device was eventually installed on a display at a back corner of the store, away from a large sign advertising the iPhone 5.
Representatives from AT&T and BlackBerry didn't immediately respond for comment.
03-22-2013 05:54 PM
03-22-2013 07:29 PM
BlackBerry: Z Is For Zero
When I inquired about my order, I was told that while my phone was in, the device that ports the contact and other information from my old 8500 series BB Curve to the new Z10 wasn't set up yet. So while I could have my phone, I'd have no useful information on it.
Needless to say, I was a bit… nonplussed. With all the buildup coming out of Waterloo, one would think that the folks at AT&T (T) would be ready to hit the ground running. I asked if this wasn't a problem with other customers, and was told that I was the first customer to come into the store looking to buy the new BlackBerry. Mind you, this was two hours after the store opened. Not sure that I'd heard correctly, I asked for clarification:
Me: "So, exactly how many BlackBerry Z10 phones have you sold so far?"
Salesperson: "Well, none yet. You are the first."
Me: "None?... As in Zero?"
Salesperson: "Correct, but we have had some calls about it."
Me: "Help me out here. Have you had a lot of calls? I mean, something like you'd expect for a rollout debut of a new phone?"
Salesperson: "We've had a few calls. It's a little lighter than what we'd expect from say, the first day for the iPhone or a Galaxy."
Me: "A little lighter? How much lighter? What was it like with the iPhone 5 or the Galaxy IV?"
Salesperson: (laughs) "We were packed."
Disappointed, I left the store, without my new BB Z10, but with a promise that if I came back over the weekend I'd be able to get the information ported from my old BB Curve.
I wondered if my experience was unique, so I did a quick search of the authorized AT&T stores in the area, and I actually went and visited seven of those stores and called three others asking the same questions about Z10. I was shocked at the response.
The answer was two phones. Ten stores. Two BB Z10 phones sold.
At 3:30 in the afternoon.
03-22-2013 07:36 PM
Likewise, I was the only sale so far. They were ready for me though.
Standard AT&T BS though. $199 became $244 cash and $36 on the bill.
I thought it would be worth the wait, but bailing on BIS and real email makes me think they are done.
03-22-2013 08:35 PM
03-23-2013 11:29 AM
This article is from the Wall Street Journal. And just in case you are not familiar with this "rag" [from wiki]:
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper with a special emphasis on business and economic news. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal.
The Journal is the largest newspaper in the United States, by circulation. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, it has a circulation of 2.1 million copies (including 400,000 online paid subscriptions), as of March 2010, compared to USA Today's 1.8 million. Its main rival, in the business newspaper sector, is the London-based Financial Times, which also publishes several international editions.
The Journal primarily covers American economic and international business topics, and financial news and issues. Its name derives from Wall Street, located in New York City, which is the heart of the financial district; it has been printed continuously since its inception on July 8, 1889, by Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser. The newspaper version has won the Pulitzer Prize thirty-three times, including 2007 prizes for its reporting on backdated stock options and the adverse effects of China's booming economy.
...not exactly a 'short' guide...which is why I posted it. BTW, I was in Best Buy last night and there was NOTHING on the Z10...NOTHING! Best Buy had end caps for the Iphone and Samsung, they had models of each to use. At the BBRY section, they only had old models.
03-23-2013 03:03 PM
Local AT&T dealer here had NONE at 5:30 PM yesterday. They offered to order me one but didn't have any in the building.
No signage, no display, nothing visible anywhere in the store.
I walked out.
I'm a T-Mobile customer anyway, and wasn't about to switch, but I was wondering if what I'd heard about AT&T basically treating the device like it had leprosy was true or not. It appears it is.
I don't know if this is AT&T's reaction to Verizon having an exclusive on the "white" model (which I don't want anyway) and I've had enough trouble with AT&T over the years that I studiously avoid them in any event, however -- they ARE the second-largest carrier and if Blackberry wasn't going to get a fair and reasonable billing from them one has to wonder why they released through them at all.
03-23-2013 10:05 PM
03-25-2013 06:12 PM
Hope BB is Listening and Marketing Dept. is on the phone or the plane to turn up the heat.. That is if BB is serious about the USofA market., which I'm sure they are.. But they need someone who understands our Markets..
I just went to two AT&T Bay Area stores.. and this is what I discovered.. the Z10 phone was on display with it's competitors, that is if there really is one? The way the store(s) had the Z10 secured you could not try it out because they had a TyRap around it's mid-section so as a consumer all you could do it hold it, but not able to operate its swipe/flow motion.. It would not do anything.. I asked the AT rep about it. They had to cut the band off so you could operate it.. Ok, now then proceeded to ask questions about the phone.. the AT rep was positive, but limited.. on knowledge of really showing off it's function. There WiFi was not working in the store they had to use there personal Cell WiFi to allow me to try it..
Also when you walk in the store, both stores.. You would not know that BB is even a real Cell Phone company.. Plastered all over the walls are it's competitors..
At the second store, same experience. The AT rep when asked if they had any formal introduction about the Z10, basically what I got was a few weeks earlier there was a BB rep that came buy and told them about the phone, etc.
This is a poor way to represent a great new product.. Am I biased.. Yes, but objective as a business person. I blame both BB and AT&T. I would fire the BB Rep, if this is the best they could do.. However since I do not know what the limitations have been for them to properly address the AT&T reps with the product and lacking of Ad support, posters, etc.
To be fair, I would need more input.. BB are you listening? I hope so.. You best get busy as Goldman Sachs Group,Inc. has just dropped you from 30% to 20% of chance to succeed today, causing a 5% drop in your stock.. I know it's going to take time.. but it's time to get busy and turn up the heat on the those who rep. you in the US market. Or, your about to get a hard kick where it hurts on market share in US.
You have a great phone, you know it, and die hards like me 20+years know it.. But there are a lot of those who do not. Advertising is very expensive, I understand, word of mouth is great but slow. You have a few weeks to shore up these issues with AT&T. Hopefully with Verizon and T-Mobile you improve.. otherwise ???
Sincerely BB I hope you are listening!
03-25-2013 06:17 PM
If you think that simply because and article is in the WSJ that it is unbiased and gospel... well then I'm going to post an ad in there for a nice piece of swamp land that I have for sale...
Doesn't matter, the article points to factual information about a bad launch. With Blackberry pushing the launch of the Z10 off in the US why was this the case?
There should have been a Blackberry is back campaign!