The much awaited BlackBerry Z10
, powered by the BlackBerry 10 operating system, seems to have struck a chord with its loyal customers. The early sales of the smartphone have been promising.
The Z10 was unveiled in India on February 25 and it was available in the stores from February 27. Within three days, most of the BlackBerry Stores have managed to sell over 50 units individually while small retailers who received a limited stock claim to have sold close to seven to eight pieces each.
Vikrant Badhwar, owner of Beecham's (BlackBerry Store), Delhi, said, "We received the units of the Z10
on the evening of February 27. Since then, I have sold 57 units of this smartphone." Electro World, a BlackBerry store in Noida, claims to have sold over 50 units within two days of availability. While inquiring about the sales, we could see some customers paying for the smartphone in cash.
Other than the BlackBerry Stores, the Z10 is available only at some selected retail stores and organized retail chains across the county. For instance, just half of the small retail shops in Noida Sector 18 were selling this smartphone. Some of the store owners informed us that the device is not yet available, while some asked us to pre-book the phone by paying Rs 5,000. The shopkeepers promised to arrange the device within five days.
My Mobile, a small multi-brand mobile retail store, informed us that they had already sold eight of the 10 units of Z10 phones they had received. The salespersons also asserted that the device is in great demand.
A Raj Singh of Autolook Industries in New Delhi's Karol Bagh area claimed to have sold over 30 units of the phone at its MRP of Rs 43,490.
Among the organised retail outlets, the Z10 was available at the Spice HotSpot and The Mobile Store but these stores had not yet reported any concrete numbers. The device was not available at Jumbo Electronics and Reliance Digital stores we had visited.
While the BlackBerry Stores and some of the retailers are selling it at its MRP, a few small retailers were selling it for Rs 41,000. One of the Spice HotSpot stores in the capital was selling it for Rs 41,200. Initially, only black version of the Z10 was available. The while variant is expected soon.
The BlackBerry Z10 smartphone
is expected to cost a few thousands more with the finance minister increasing the excise duty to 6 per cent on phones priced above Rs 2,000 in Budget 2013. Commenting on the hike, BlackBerry in a statement said, "As per analyst reports, India is on its way to becoming the world's third-largest smartphone market with a growth of close to 80 per cent annually in this segment. Therefore, we were hopeful that the government would take steps to support this segment. However, the increase in excise duty on mobile phones costing above Rs 2000, announced in the 2013 Union Budget, is not favourable to the growth of the segment."