The all-too-familiar shipping delays that go with most Apple launches regularly see the fruity firm accused of scarcity marketing tactics, but surely BlackBerry has taken things to a new level with the Q10 launch.
The QWERTY-equipped Q10 has technically been available since Friday, but for three days it was available solely at three retail outlets: Selfridges in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
Unsurprisingly, demand was pretty brisk, even considering the £580 RRP, and the Q10 sold out at all three Selfridges branches – or the Carphone Warehouse outlets within the three Selfridges branches, to be more precise.
And so this morning, which is when the BlackBerry Q10 became available across the country, BlackBerry was able to ride a wave of positive publicity about how its QWERTY-based BB10 warrior had sold out, had been Selfridges fastest selling consumer electronics product ever, how initial stock had run out in just two hours, how new stock was being delivered every hour to keep up... clever, huh?
It's even more so (and even less impressive in the greater scheme of things) when you consider that the Selfridges UK exclusive was effectively the global debut for the handset too and BlackBerry didn't restrict how many units individuals could snap up.
So aside from eager early adopters and pre-order customers you also had a separate queue at each store for those picking up multiple units for export or early resales.
Estimates are that 2,000 units were sold at the London branch in 90 minutes, but even that isn't a huge number across just three stores over a single weekend.
That's by no means labelling the BlackBerry Q10 as a sales failure. Absolutely not. But the Selfridges diversion was a PR exercise, and it worked. The Q10 actually went on sale today, and it's sales from today, not from Friday, that will be the true measure of the handset's success, and to an extent BlackBerry's ongoing QWERTY legacy.
Via The Guardian