14 July 2013 - 8:44am | posted by | 0 comments

Blackberry prices slashed up to 75% in US as slow sales sting suppliers

The Blackberry Z10: Disappointing salesThe Blackberry Z10: Disappointing sales

The price of BlackBerry's flagship Z10 smartphone has been slashed by as much as 75 per cent in the US.

AT&T and Verizon Wireless have cut the price in half to $99 from $199 with a two-year contract.

They have been "stung by slower sales of the all-touch-screen phone," says the Wall Street Journal.

Best Buy and Amazon.com are now offering the phone under contract for $49. Without the contract, the Z10 sells for about $700.

High-end phones from Samsung and Apple sell for $199 with a contract.

Discounting is common in smartphone marketing, says the WSJ. Samsung recently cut the price of its Galaxy S3 ahead of a newer version.

"But such an early move by carriers and retailers to discount the Z10, just months after its late-March launch, suggest the phone isn't selling well," said the WSJ.

A BlackBerry spokesman said "now was the right time to adjust the price" of the Z10 as the company introduces newer models.

"It's part of life cycle management to tier the pricing for current devices to make room for the next ones," he wrote in an email. "This is just one element of our marketing strategy that will ensure we remain aggressive in a very competitive market landscape."

Last year, U.S. carriers halved the price of Nokia's Lumia 900 only about three months after launch.

BlackBerry's new line of phones, including the Z10 and the keyboard-equipped Q10, went on sale in the U.S. in June. In its most recent earnings report last month,however sales were well under most analysts' estimates, though the company didn't break out sales of the models.

BlackBerry shares fell after the earnings results came in.

On Friday, BlackBerry's shares were down about 1% to $9.24. The shares are down about 36% since the earnings report.

At the company's annual shareholders meeting last week, a shareholder told company chief Thorsten Heins the U.S. launch of the Z10 had been a "disaster."

Heins admitted the U.S. market was "ferocious" and that the company was having trouble there, but denied the launch was a disaster.

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