Selfridges PR fluff accompanies BlackBerry Q10's UK arrival

Selfridges PR fluff accompanies BlackBerry Q10's UK arrivalThe 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

Read more about: Blackberry OS

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16 comments

KenJ  Apr. 29, 2013 at 21:14

LMAO, I love this. If it sells poorly, it's bad, if it sells well, it's bad. Something tells me it'll take some miraculous event for you guys to report something positive about Blackberry. Exclusive or not, it's not like most of us can fly over there and buy it. So it's not like everyone who wants one went there to buy it that day. It's still really limited to those who are there and were probably going to buy it from there anyway. But regardless, this reminds me of when CNET reported how an ealier than expected release of the Z10 was somehow a bad thing. And no, I'm not claiming the Z10 released "early" but just not as late as everyone thought it was going to be. Or how some reviews would read about how long the battery lasts and how they are going multiple days on a single charge, then when it comes time to score it, they give the battery life a low score... It's always bad as long as Blackberry is attached to it apparently. I guess either some of you have market share with Samsung or Apple, or you'll simply never give the "uncool" company a chance no matter what they do...

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 29, 2013 at 21:38

You're entitled to your opinion, but lets face it, the Q10 isn't going to be a big seller. Even if they sold it for a half reasonable price (why the hell you'd pay more for a BB than the: HTC One, Galaxy S4 or iPhone 5 is beyond me) it still wouldn't sell that well because the market as a whole just isn't that interesting in BBs anymore.

Oh, and I'm not sure what "having market share" with a company is (I'm assuming you're inferring that some of the staff here at mobot have a financial interest in seeing either Samsung or Apple do well) but we are impartial, that's different to not being entitled to an opinion, though.

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 29, 2013 at 21:53

LMAO, I love this. If it sells poorly, it's bad, if it sells well, it's bad. Something tells me it'll take some miraculous event for you guys to report something positive about Blackberry. Exclusive or not, it's not like most of us can fly over there and buy it. So it's not like everyone who wants one went there to buy it that day. It's still really limited to those who are there and were probably going to buy it from there anyway. But regardless, this reminds me of when CNET reported how an ealier than expected release of the Z10 was somehow a bad thing. And no, I'm not claiming the Z10 released "early" but just not as late as everyone thought it was going to be. Or how some reviews would read about how long the battery lasts and how they are going multiple days on a single charge, then when it comes time to score it, they give the battery life a low score... It's always bad as long as Blackberry is attached to it apparently. I guess either some of you have market share with Samsung or Apple, or you'll simply never give the "uncool" company a chance no matter what they do...

Tell you what: I agree.
With 2 caveats: 1) Nobody here has shares in anything. Every single mobot 'staffer' has picked on both Samsung and Apple quite a lot. Even Lewis Curdie, the Machead :p Martin has reported indepth on Nokia when nobody gave a hoot! I have owned a Bold 9900 and if Blackberry could build a decent camera module, I'd still have it. I had a Torch, also and a 9780...
2) There are reports from people who were present that indicate that a significant chunk of the Q10 sales were bulk sales - lots of 20s etc... Obviously purchased to be sold on online or in other stores. So, a number of these 'sold out' Q10s are not actually in the hands of endusers, yet. How many exactly? Who knows.

I agree, Martin's been a tad harsh, maybe; but Selfridge's hype machine certainly warrants
some digging. He's gone there, when many of today's mobile blog posts were simply copy and pasting the PR...

I wish Blackberry success. I do NOT want a duopoly of Android and iOS with WP thrown in for identikit colour. I like what I have seen of the Z10, and the Q10 is right up my alley.

But fact is: given certain obvious shortcomings, the 2 devices are OVERPRICED!
Take the cameras. Even pro-BB reviewers had to admit that the Z10 has nothing on the iPhone 5's shooter and current Android flagships. Not to mention the Nokia Lumia 920.
Now look at the big apps: instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc etc etc... - all photo-centric apps and services. The Lumia 920 is THE godsent for M$ and WP. Because it's big and bright and colourful? Nope. Not even because it is WP... No, because of the camera. H*ck, people actually bought Pureview 808s. Because of Symbian? Or that awful, impractical bump? Nope. Because of Pureview!

And Blackberry think a mediocre camera is enough to ask for highend money.
That is just one example. Add to that the fact that for an iPhone or Galaxy you get truckloads of accessories; that many many many people invested in iOS or Android apps...

Those are significant reasons to sell the 2 phones with a yet to prove-itself OS at a reasonable price. I believe Blackberry completely failed in that regard. And frankly, as much as I would love to own a Q10 or Z10 - I know I would miss a decent camera. And others would miss certain apps etc etc... To enter a new learning curve while accepting all these drawbacks is a lot to ask for, imho.

I had a HP Pre 3. I loved it. I put up with a craptacular 5MP camera - possibly worse than any 5MP cam I ever used. But hey, the Pre 3 cost me €140. It was faster than many current highend Android phones. Had an excellent keyboard. Good battery life. I gave an 'uncool company' a chance. At a price I found acceptable. I would have bought it for €300, actually.
For more? No! Cr*p camera, no 3rd party browser, no good document reader...

ubus  Apr. 29, 2013 at 22:10

What's your problem? You don't like the fact that Blackberry is back? Too bad. They are BACK! Its inevitable and its here and you better get used to it. I am seeing a lot of Z10s on the street and the Q10 will sell even more for now.

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 29, 2013 at 22:20

What's your problem? You don't like the fact that Blackberry is back? Too bad. They are BACK! Its inevitable and its here and you better get used to it. I am seeing a lot of Z10s on the street and the Q10 will sell even more for now.

Did you not read what I wrote?
o_O

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 29, 2013 at 22:24

also: LOL

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 29, 2013 at 22:33

What's your problem? You don't like the fact that Blackberry is back? Too bad. They are BACK! Its inevitable and its here and you better get used to it. I am seeing a lot of Z10s on the street and the Q10 will sell even more for now.
Yes, yes...

Anyone want to hear about my pet unicorn? They're popular now, too.

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 29, 2013 at 22:34

What's your problem? You don't like the fact that Blackberry is back? Too bad. They are BACK! Its inevitable and its here and you better get used to it. I am seeing a lot of Z10s on the street and the Q10 will sell even more for now.

Did you not read what I wrote?
o_O

Clearly not...

socialjeebus  Apr. 30, 2013 at 04:38

I agree with Jan too.

The current duopoly is terrible.

However signing an exclusivity deal with a store that has only 3 outlets gives us an indication of how Blackberry themselves see it selling.

KenJ  Apr. 30, 2013 at 05:31


Tell you what: I agree.
With 2 caveats: 1) Nobody here has shares in anything. Every single mobot 'staffer' has picked on both Samsung and Apple quite a lot. Even Lewis Curdie, the Machead :p Martin has reported indepth on Nokia when nobody gave a hoot! I have owned a Bold 9900 and if Blackberry could build a decent camera module, I'd still have it. I had a Torch, also and a 9780...
2) There are reports from people who were present that indicate that a significant chunk of the Q10 sales were bulk sales - lots of 20s etc... Obviously purchased to be sold on online or in other stores. So, a number of these 'sold out' Q10s are not actually in the hands of endusers, yet. How many exactly? Who knows.

I agree, Martin's been a tad harsh, maybe; but Selfridge's hype machine certainly warrants
some digging. He's gone there, when many of today's mobile blog posts were simply copy and pasting the PR...

I wish Blackberry success. I do NOT want a duopoly of Android and iOS with WP thrown in for identikit colour. I like what I have seen of the Z10, and the Q10 is right up my alley.

But fact is: given certain obvious shortcomings, the 2 devices are OVERPRICED!
Take the cameras. Even pro-BB reviewers had to admit that the Z10 has nothing on the iPhone 5's shooter and current Android flagships. Not to mention the Nokia Lumia 920.
Now look at the big apps: instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc etc etc... - all photo-centric apps and services. The Lumia 920 is THE godsent for M$ and WP. Because it's big and bright and colourful? Nope. Not even because it is WP... No, because of the camera. H*ck, people actually bought Pureview 808s. Because of Symbian? Or that awful, impractical bump? Nope. Because of Pureview!

And Blackberry think a mediocre camera is enough to ask for highend money.
That is just one example. Add to that the fact that for an iPhone or Galaxy you get truckloads of accessories; that many many many people invested in iOS or Android apps...

Those are significant reasons to sell the 2 phones with a yet to prove-itself OS at a reasonable price. I believe Blackberry completely failed in that regard. And frankly, as much as I would love to own a Q10 or Z10 - I know I would miss a decent camera. And others would miss certain apps etc etc... To enter a new learning curve while accepting all these drawbacks is a lot to ask for, imho.

I had a HP Pre 3. I loved it. I put up with a craptacular 5MP camera - possibly worse than any 5MP cam I ever used. But hey, the Pre 3 cost me €140. It was faster than many current highend Android phones. Had an excellent keyboard. Good battery life. I gave an 'uncool company' a chance. At a price I found acceptable. I would have bought it for €300, actually.
For more? No! Cr*p camera, no 3rd party browser, no good document reader...


I am not saying my priorities are yours or should be yours, but really, you put WAY too much importance to the camera in my opinion. I think it's pretty silly for people to think their cell phone cameras will ever replace a good quality stand-alone camera. And please don't get started with the megapixels argument. That means nothing, any camera can save the picture in any resolution. That's all in the software, a crappy 25MP camera will take far worse pictures than a good 15MP camera... Anyway, the limitations with phones is they cannot put a decent sized sensor in there. Then to put a decent image processor. Quality glass is also expensive. Yes, the best cell phone cameras out there look very good and IF YOU DON'T HAVE YOUR CAMERA on you, they are great alternatives, but that's just it. It's only for *IF* you don't happen to have your camera. I think it's stupid as hell when I see people going to touristy areas where they KNOW they will take photos yet all they bring is their cell phone to take photos... Really???

But yes, I do agree that they are pretty expensive for smartphones. But I just don't really care THAT much about if they have "the best" camera on the market. I love photography, but I hate half-assing anything. That's why I couldn't care less how "good" a phone camera is, it'll never be as good as my DSLR or even my point and shoot, the Canon SX260. So for me, as long as it's not that crappy all-focus (no focus really) camera my Bold 9900 has, I'm happy it'll have autofocus. Other than that, I'm not going to even bother trying to compare its quality. It's all a crap shoot in my opinion. Every time someone tries to show me how "awesome" their cell phone photos are, they never impress me to be honest...

But in the end, I need my keyboard. I like the productivity it allows through universal search from the home screen, one button speed dialing, and accurate typing without needing to even look at the keyboard, and no need for auto-correct... And in terms of phones with an always there keyboard (not a fan of sliders or any other moving mechanism that can break or get sluggish after a while of use, not to mention the time it takes to make the keyboard appear, might as well have a virtual keyboard that needs to be activated or opened...), the Q10 will own that category hands down. So I guess I'm just going to have to find the money somehow...

skichump  Apr. 30, 2013 at 05:46

It's amazing how you are able to play down the numbers and turn a success story into a failure. The 2000 figure was just the first 90min. The stores were being restocked twice each day. The Q10 will bring back those that loved the keyboard but needed a great internet browser and more apps. Now you can have it all and more . Best macro camera and time shift,blackberry hub, top level security etc etc.

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 30, 2013 at 10:42

KenJ
But in the end, I need my keyboard. I like the productivity it allows through universal search from the home screen, one button speed dialing, and accurate typing without needing to even look at the keyboard, and no need for auto-correct... And in terms of phones with an always there keyboard (not a fan of sliders or any other moving mechanism that can break or get sluggish after a while of use, not to mention the time it takes to make the keyboard appear, might as well have a virtual keyboard that needs to be activated or opened...), the Q10 will own that category hands down. So I guess I'm just going to have to find the money somehow...

Yeah, well... I kinda feel the same. But I'd have to give the Q10 a spin before I decide it's worth the extra money over a 9900 or a Pre 3 (which has a solid slider and excellent keyboard).
In my original post I mentioned the camera as 'one point' - I happen to enjoy not having to carry a separate cam to take half decent pics. And look at reviews these days: Camera performance is a big issue. And there's a reason: mid- and high-end phones are now so fast that there's little to write about, You can buy a £150 or £300 phone and, in many cases (for the casual consumer) not find much difference. Except for a couple of things: and the camera is usually one of them. If the camera is not that important to you, that is great, cause it gives you much more choice.

@ skichump
You are cherrypicking. Sorry, no offence, but the sales figures from 3 stores really do not make for a relevant analysis or offer enough for a prognosis. Especially if - as has been reported - a lot of those phones were bought by resellers in batches of 10s, 20s and more.
That OBVIOUSLY says very little about the real success.
In other terms: there was the story of the secret Z10 order for one million units. Excellent news. You could say, "10 million units sold in 1 minute" - but that doesn't change this fact: in Ireland currently O2 have an exclusive for the Z10. In my town since launch O2 have not sold a single Z10! Fact. Not 1! Now, it's not a big corporate town, but for perspective: when iPhone 5 launched the same store sold 150 on the 1st day! SGS3: 200 in the first week.

So I reckon Martin has a right to treat Selfridges' PR with some skepticism.

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 30, 2013 at 10:42

I agree with Jan too.

The current duopoly is terrible.

However signing an exclusivity deal with a store that has only 3 outlets gives us an indication of how Blackberry themselves see it selling.


Good point.

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 30, 2013 at 10:55

PS: c'mon - many of these arguments were already made when BB 7 came out withe the Bold 9900 and that odd touchscreen phone. Honestly: how well did they sell? How well did BB's strategy work? Overpriced and an inconsistent mix of quality. The Bold 9900 is one of the most gorgeous devices ever built. But then - upon launch at least - you cannot get many bog-standard apps; the camera (I know, camera again) IS shocking for a phone priced above the SGS2/3 . The Ascend g300 has a better shooter. Granted: people forget how expensive it is to produce and manufacture a good keyboard, but still: in a nutshell: the Bold 9900 flopped. And IT'S STILL over £400!!!

This is NOT about the inherent qualities of the Q10 or Z10 - it's about RIM/Blackberry misjudging the market. And piffle such as Selfridgess' PR doesn't help to set them straight.

It's not worth defending it, because it doesn't help BB and it doesn't help us, the endusers.

Now, I'm outta here :p

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 30, 2013 at 13:18

And in terms of phones with an always there keyboard (not a fan of sliders or any other moving mechanism that can break or get sluggish after a while of use, not to mention the time it takes to make the keyboard appear, might as well have a virtual keyboard that needs to be activated or opened...), the Q10 will own that category hands down.
Not exactly hard to own a category consisting of one device, is it? There are literally no other new-ish, high end QWERTY devices on the market.

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 30, 2013 at 13:21

This is NOT about the inherent qualities of the Q10 or Z10 - it's about RIM/Blackberry misjudging the market. And piffle such as Selfridgess' PR doesn't help to set them straight.

This ^^^

If any of you seriously think the Z10 or Q10 will come anywhere near challenging the S4, HTC One or iPhone 5 you're sadly mistaken...or deluded, one of the two. I bet the S4 has sold more units this week than either the Z10 or Q10 will manage in their respective lifetimes.

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