BlackBerry recently launched its flagship BlackBerry 10 smartphone Z10 in key markets. It is expected that this smartphone will be available in India by the end of February
and will be making its way to US by mid-March.
The company had also showcased a QWERTY smartphone Q10 based on this new operating system. It is being touted that this smartphone will be available in the market starting March 2013. As per earlier rumours, the company is expected to launch at least six new devices including Z10 and Q10 to help them cover all aspects of the market.
However, it now seems that the Canadian smartphone maker will not be offering an entry-level BlackBerry 10 smartphone in 2013. This piece of information has been given out by the Stephen Bates, who is the Europe Managing Director for BlackBerry in an interview to Tech Radar.
"We've brought out these high-end devices as a as a statement of intent - to demonstrate vividly the new BlackBerry," said Bates. "Our intention is to evolve that portfolio to enter the mid-tier."
"But we don't see us getting to the entry level tier for some time; certainly not this year. Based on the great sales we've had over Christmas in the UK there is a demand for the entry level BlackBerry and we don't want to give that up so we're going to continue with Curve and the entry level as we bring BlackBerry 10 down through the mid-tier and eventually into the entry level."
So it seems that the company will not be retiring its current set of smartphones that are running on BlackBerry OS 7. It is likely that some of the current set of smartphones may get a substantial price cut to keep the consumers interested in the old ecosystem.
Through this move, BlackBerry may well be able to keep the BlackBerry addicts invested in the system but a large chunk of the market will be left unaddressed. To reach out to consumers in the developing markets like India and Indonesia, it will be imperative to have smartphones under Rs. 15,000 if not Rs. 10,000 and not being able to offer these till 2014 may well cost the company.