back to article BlackBerry Z10: Prices pruned despite eager iPunter interest

How well is the Z10 from BlackBerry - née RIM - faring? Reports on the handset’s retail success, on which BlackBerry’s recovery as a business is riding, are mixed. Late last week, Carphone Warehouse and Vodafone separately pruned the price of the handset, not a good sign for a premium device that has been on sale for less than a …

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FAIL

Trouble is, it doesn't actually tell you a lot.

Example.

I had an iphone last year. I like it.

I need a new phone now, but I don't want to pay for it.

Ooh look Android Shiny - Blackberry shiny. Which was cheapest - Ooh blackberry newest and shiniest and cheapest I'll go for that.

Now if that person like BB, that's great, however if they come under the "newest and shiniest and cheapest I'll go for that." brigade, then same will happen at end of contract.

I assume there must be a lot of "newest and shiniest and cheapest I'll go for that." around, as otherwise, why would anyone buy a windows phone :-)

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You are so right sad really, my contract up soon so will take a punt on a Z10 only thing that is worrying me is I punted on a Win7.5 last time and was left with an apps dead end within months of signing up a 2 year contract.

I am looking for signs of life in the apps before I commit to BB or its Nexus 4 for me.....

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Anonymous Coward

Nexus 4 is much less complete than a Samsung phone. I would seriously consider the new Galaxy 4 which will be around soon.

Nexus 4 has all the right chips, but crap software support. It has LTE capability in the chips but they haven't supported it. It has Bluetooth 4.0 and low power mode (used for syncing fitness trackers etc.) but they haven't added the software to support it.

It really is a cheap dogs dinner compared to a Samsung phone.

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Also doesn't tell you how many BB fans defected unwillingly for a better featured device and are returning in hope that BB is improved enough. That's likely to be a one off launch surge that will slow as the less keen wait out their contracts before deciding.

Given the removal of the dedicated messaging USP that may be a very small trickle of future returnees.

2nd quarter sales will be much more informative.

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I've had my Z10 for a week now and I do like it a lot. I didn't pay anything for mine after the store rebate, just locked into a three year contract. I've managed to find most of the apps I needed except for Whatsapp but it will apparently be available for BB10 sometime this month.

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Silver badge

"Nexus 4 is much less complete than a Samsung phone. I would seriously consider the new Galaxy 4 which will be around soon."

What does "complete" even mean? I have a Nexus 4 and it's an excellent device for the £280 I paid for it. It certainly has a few things to gripe about such as lack of SD slot and removable battery but it works superbly and the screen and CPU are excellent. It's also £100 cheaper than the S3. For the price it does everything I want from it and is therefore complete for my purposes.

Would I have bought an S3 instead of the price was the same? Possibly although I think the experience of vanilla Android 4.2.x has reached a point that it is superior to the heavily customised UI found in HTC and Samsung handsets.

"Nexus 4 has all the right chips, but crap software support. It has LTE capability in the chips but they haven't supported it. "

I don't care that it lacks LTE. I use my phone through PAYG so I need a bit of data for email and other apps and HSPA+ is more than adequate for that. In fact HSPA+ is more than adequate even if I tethered a computer to it.

While it would be nice if LTE were enabled I can understand why it was not. Enabling it would have meant Google paying LTE patent fees and the price would have gone up. LTE is still emerging so it'll probably be a few years before it even becomes a big deal that its there or not.

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Anonymous Coward

Not that simple

Some people shop like that.

Others have a memory and/or ears.

"ooh look that Blackberry is shiney, but my last one was shit or xyz has never stopped moaning about theirs."

I'll take that other one over there.

Thats the reason I still won't buy a Nokia - despite the newest ones being good phones.

It takes more than one decent phone to regain public confidence.

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Anonymous Coward

Hows that Jellybean 4.2.2 update working out on your SG3?

Oh........

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Anonymous Coward

#Deadphone

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Bronze badge

RE: just locked into a three year contract

Are you sure you don't mean: chained by the balls for a 3 year period???

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Anonymous Coward

No pent up demand from current BB owners?

I would have thought BB owners would be chomping at the bit for the Z10?

Or are they all holding back for the Q10 which RIM have deliberately delayed to give the Z10 a chance?

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Gold badge

Re: No pent up demand from current BB owners?

New platform and does it have lots of apps? now I know that a phone could realistically get away with just having a browser these days, but people like apps due to notifications and other integration with the device.

So no matter what the technical merits of a platform are, it needs support from software makers.

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FAIL

Lack of Applications?

A friend of mine wanted to swap her iPhone for one of those.

She checked whether her banking App was available, no it wasn't, to be fair it's only on iPhone.

She then found out that What'sApp which she uses all the time wasn't available either.

She ended up moving to sim only on the iPhone and told me that she'll wait for the iPhone6.

Phil

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Silver badge

Re: Lack of Applications?

A shame your friend doesn't change her bank, rather than her choice of phone...

This situation is sadly depressing - an unfair advantage Apple get, and something that all other platforms (not just BB) have to fight with.

I remember the uproar when a bank's site or whatever might decide to cater for "only" the mere 90% of Windows users. Yet if a bank now only provides for iphone users - never having been the number one platform, and barely ever above 20%, it seems there's silence.

Android has rocketed past the majority 50% point, now approaching 80%; Samsung Android phones alone outsell iphones by tens of millions; even one single Android device out of thousands outsells Apple's flagship (Q3 2012, the Samsung S3). Android also is now number one on non-phone tablets too. Yet it seems that the number of adverts advertising only "get this on your iphone" or "from the app store" is increasing...

(I think Google Play must have now overtaken to be number one, or will do soon? But unfortunately a lot of the bigger businesses/services still seem to be clueless about phone market share, preferring to cater for fishermen with ipads and so on.)

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Stop

Re: Lack of Applications?

We know Apple have an "unfair advantage"

We know android outsells iOS.

We know Samsung outsells iPhones.

We know Android is number 1 on tablets.

How? Because you constantly keep telling us.

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Silver badge

Re: Lack of Applications?

Everyone knows! Er, a shame her bank doesn't. Or the commenters criticising BB for a lack of apps; I argue this should be directed at the app developers (as with Windows only applications). I wasn't telling everyone, let alone you, I was simply mentioning a fact as part of that point.

I'm not sure that random comments on a forum constitute anything like the level of criticism when something like BBC iplayer was Windows only. Everyone knows that people say they buy iphones because of something only supporting that, but I still found it useful for the OP to make that comment.

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WTF?

Re: Lack of Applications?

Last figures I saw said - since the introduction of the iPhone 5 - iPhones outsold Galaxies worldwide by a handy margin. For the UK market, you might be correct.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lack of Applications?

Banks and larger software in general are not as much catering for iphone as for ipad users, which is still the number one tablet. Two other important factors are (1) people buy Android because it's cheap and statistics suggest those users are not the power users app developers are after, (2) tablet is still where business and real work get done and where apps money are made.

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FAIL

The keynote was a pile of shite. Alicia Keys as "Artistic Director" tweeting from her iphone?

Apart from that the high price and lack of mainstream apps (and reportedly poor battery life) hardly makes me want to dump the superb Note II

Unless you are already indoctrinated in the BB way then it's a no no!

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jai
Silver badge

Thing is, you'd expect the sales to have been much better from all those in "the BB way"

But that doesn't seem to be happening, so even the old BB devotees aren't flocking to the new device.

Perhaps they're all waiting for their current 2 year contracts to end, but can Blackberry really wait the, perhaps up to, 18 months for all their old customers to come back to them?

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Silver badge

Having Alicia Keys as 'Artistic Director' was so stupid that the people who who thought it was a good idea should be fired. It just looked pitiful. Probably the only time she has used a new Blackberry is when she is forced to for public appearances.

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Bronze badge

Personally I'm hanging on to see what the keyboard version is like.

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Silver badge

I'd also wonder a bit if part of it's that many BB users will be business types, who would be less likely to swap something out that still does the job or hasn't yet come to the end of the corporate replacement/depreciation cycle?

I can see the attraction of newer/more powerful iPhones and Android phones for personal/social use with new apps and features making life easier, but in the corporate world it's of course much less something that IT departments want (BYOD notwithstanding) to achieve something that's stable, reliable and relatively easy to support.

But at least some of that crowd want something that works rather than just being a fashion accessory, so don't care quite what Ms Keys may have done to it (as long as it's not too stupidly bling).

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Alicia Keys

Yeah, I was wondering about the thought processes behind that appointment. I mean, ask someone over 30 who she is and I reckon 4 out of 5 think she sings "Bad Boys" and "Broken Heels".

Then there's the price - circa £500 - when the Nexus 4 is £280. Talk about a marketing fustercluck.

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Silver badge

Re: Alicia Keys

But then that's an argument against every phone (such as £400 S3, £500 iphone 5), and the real question should be, why isn't the Nexus 4 dominating everything else?

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Silver badge

How's that latest TouchWiz update working out on your Nexus 4?

I have a Galaxy Nexus btw, but find this argument about the latest Android version pointless, when most phones don't run vanilla Android, and simply therefore run on different update cycles. Sure, if you want to run pure Android, that's a plus point for the Nexus, but the S3 has its own advantages. I don't see that the latest Android point releases have significant improvements anyway. It's like getting excited over Windows updates.

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Getting excited over Windows Updates.

I blew my load over W8, I'll have you know.

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Re: Getting excited over Windows Updates.

I threw up over mine.

Oh no - that was the Microsoft 'design' engineers.

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Thumb Down

Z10 - Frustration beyond words

I've been a Blackberry fan for some time. I've just upgraded my Bold 9900 to the Z10 - What a disaster - I'm sending it back! There are of course some very good features such as browsing/processing speed, screen size and definition etc, but I use my mobile primarily for email, text and phone calls - where Blackberry have led the field - and the other things are a great 'add-on' if the basics work properly. It is almost impossible to manipulate text accurately, and to try and 'cut & paste' parts of texts or emails is frustrating beyond belief. The real problem is there is no accurate way to move around the screen and/or highlight or isolate text. I was hopeful that the Q10, with its physical keyboard, might solve this when it gets released, but I see they have removed the scroll pad, and therefore any accurate control of the curser, from the keyboard - BIG mistake. Want to forward a conversation, (i.e. a series of messages not just an individual one) - forget it, not possible, Try and copy a phone number from say a text to put into a contact - it dials the number!! Try and delete a phone log and it just dials the number! Try and put the curser in the middle of a misspelt word to correct it - impossible - unless incredibly lucky! Blackberry is really struggling to get back into the market - unfortunately in their desperation to clone the iphone, they have missed a big trick by removing some of the unique features that have in the past made Blackberry so much better than the rest. Looks like I will have to stick with my Bold for now - what a disappointment.

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Angel

Re: Z10 - Frustration beyond words

I don't KNOW, so I can't say for sure...but is it not like Windows Phone 8 where you hold your finger down in the text and the cursor appears, then you can slide it into place wherever you want it?

I set up a Z10 for our FD the other day, and was actually surprised at the similarities between BB10 and WP8. Although, the Z10 felt like a small slab of that foam people stick fake plants in to make them stand up though, really light and really gives you the urge to play frizbee with it.

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Unhappy

Re: Z10 - Frustration beyond words

It is exactly that, that's what pushed me off from Z10/Q10. iPhone/Android/WinPho text editing capabilities and general usability is laughable when comparing with BB9900. Shame they lost it with new generation :(((

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Unhappy

Re: Z10 - Frustration beyond words

I could not agree more. I came by this thread by looking for help by importing contacts from my Blckberry Bold.

I have been having problems, with my previous back up ( yesterday ) not supported by the Blackberry Z1O new link software.

This is one of the reasons I stay with Blackberry, so I can import my contacts easily. Having had BB for 5 years or more, this has stopped me from going to the iPhone.

If I had my money in RIM shares, I would be taking every penny out.

I will be putting it on Ebay tomorrow, if its not sorted out in a phone call.

SHAME ON YOU BLACKBERRY Z10 ( or RIM ) RESEARCH IS MISSING

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Re: Z10 - Frustration beyond words

The edit cursor/bubble issue was resolved in the software update released over the last week or so.

Various other improvements were included in that update, ie battery-life fixes that for most people have been quite dramatic, improvements to syncing Google calendars, probably a couple dozen noticeable changes all in all.

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FAIL

BBZ10 Price Cut.....

.....is most likely down to operators trying to grab what they could get out of a new launch - hopefully Mr/Ms Public are now a little more discerning than to be taken in by such tactics!

Anonymous Custard had it about right, many of those already in "the BB way" are going to be corporates, who don't just jump in & buy the latest thing when it arrives.

BB needed a full screen smartphone to get back in the game, and now they got one, with Q10 due soon.

Slight shortage of apps - choice and use of which is very personal, and we love them - results from the delay in re-entry. Z10 offers much that the business/personal users will welcome. What's App is rumoured to be arriving for BB10 this month, and others will follow.

Samsung S3 is NOT the answer for everybody, and the modern/real world approach of the Z10 has many points it can score over iPhone 5.

This price adjustment is NOT down to BlackBerry. It's down to operators who get folks to sign up to contracts, then soon after tell them they have to put prices up "in line with inflation" just to extract more pounds from our pockets once we're bound to them, like O2 & EE/Orange have just done! No sign of an improved signal / better coverage to justify it though.

Who's really being taken for a ride?

H

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Re: BBZ10 Price Cut.....

I totally agree. I have spent a not insignificant part of the day googling to see what price I can get the Z10 for without a contract. The result: the price hasn't changed. Ergo, the price 'cut' is down to the telephony service providers, not the manufacturer.

This latest RIM-job isn't a RIMming at all. To paraphrase Alec Baldwin, it's the telephony providers "reeming you out".

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Stop

Latest firmware update

I'd be interested to know if they've fixed KB33694, or when they plan to:

"When an incoming phone call, message, or a general notification is received on the BlackBerry 10 smartphone, no sound is played, the LED does not flash, and no vibration occurs despite having these options enabled under Settings > Notifications."*

I was quite enjoying my time with the Z10, but it not actually functioning as a phone put an end to that - I sent it back. I wonder how many others have done the same?

*I believe that this is a bluetooth related issue, but even so...

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Re: Latest firmware update

I was excited about the Z10 for the first week of ownership but now it's on eBay. When someone asked what it was like I ran out of positive things to say.

The Nexus 4 which has replaced it is such a better phone. I feel sorry for anyone on a 2 year contract.

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Re: Latest firmware update

Many people reported the issue with bluetooth and notifications turning off was resolved in the recent software update. (10.0.10.85 in Canada and some other places, 10.0.10.90 in various European countries. Note those are the software "bundle" versions, the OS version is different and usually ends in a 3 or 4 digit number after the last dot.)

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Anonymous Coward

Lack of availability is stopping some

My company ordered 50 upgrades on launch day from Vodafone

So far we have 3 handsets delivered

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Anonymous Coward

BES?

Not much mention of BES, are the users all private?

We looked and because corporate does not have BES 10 or want to duplicate servers and the tariff doesn't count email in the inclusive blackberry package it's a non starter (despite "Shiny, sheeny pritty thing" moaning).

I figured the thing would work for some of the users (who travel outside Europe) for about a couple of days before the more generous £100 pm data bolt on was used up.

We are back to what is a work phone for? loading up apps and using expensive data to keep an eye on your team? Seriously if text editing is that bad and they require a new BES server that "doesn't do" the old ones what is the business hook?

The phone market is going onesie with ears, where are the adults.

Blackberry had / have value in the work area from the complete package but these being classed as smartphones and (currently, in UK) breaking the basic blackberry tariff model means they are not Blackberries to me they are toys for posers.

AC because

Quote from a boss "you always say that, you didn't want to get the last ones when the first came out, said there were "issues" "

Me "we did have to send them all back to be replaced"

Boss "mumbles"

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Holmes

Sales strategy people!

This issue is as simple as carriers pumping up the initial price for core crackberry addicts who are anxious to get their hands on the new os.....they are willing to pay top dollar for the switch they have waited for two years, and it is happening.

For example, Canada carriers actually RAISED prices after the launch of the z10...why? Because the crackberry addict rush was so intense and the supplies so slow, they could afford to do it. Now that supplies are starting to meet demand, prices will be coming down. This will be repeated in every market that unveils the new BBos.

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I had a Z10 for 2 weeks and it ended up driving me mad. I took it back and swapped it for an S3.

The build quality is fine, the screen very dark compared to an S3 or iPhone. Battery life was ok, probably around that of an iPhone 4S, but they are not that great. The S3 does much better.

The OS was ok. It had trouble deleting files, they would reappear. It would forget imap settings for different accounts, I think when a signal was interrupted, like going into basement carpark. Made it useless for emailing.

The actual hub is a great idea and well executed. Unfortunately a lot of apps don't open in each other, like in iOS and a little like Android. It throws you around a lot. Also a good few apps and some of those includes are essentially browser links to a mobile version of the website / app. The lack of apps was not really annoying, those included were almost capable.

But the bugs, there are many, you don't notice at first but after a while you can predict them. The most annoying is the screen dimming when its opening a new app, sometimes through the hub. But losing email settings, crashes and unresponsiveness, some silly implementations of straightforward ideas all add up to something that needed a few more months in development.

The worst thing however is the screen coating. Its not grease resistant meaning that after a days use the screen is really dirty and a little unresponsive. My iPhone 4S and now the S3 show little to no real grease.

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Oh and I forgot. They want to charge you $50 a call when you want to ring up and tell them about a few killer bugs. They have the option to refund you. You can call the network and ask them to transfer through to BB but they really don't like doing that as I guess they might get charged.

Apple in that sense are a lot better. I have even had engineers contact me directly in the past asking for assistance in fixing a bug, in terms of providing testing, logs etc...

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Oh and Facebook. Do not add social accounts, it download all the contacts. You can tell it not to use them in address book which is cool. Whats not cool is bluetoothing your phone to your car and seeing it populate the car address book with all the Facebook contacts it should have hidden.

You have to wonder what BB were thinking. Im driving along, need to contact someone on Facebook, shazam.

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