Just two days after BlackBerry slashed the price of the Q5, Bharti Airtel has introduced a sales drive that could end up clearing much of BlackBerry's stock. Airtel users buying Blackberry phones will now get quite healthy discounts depending on the phone they buy. Quite bafflingly, it's not the newer BlackBerry 10-running smartphones that are available under this scheme, but only two phones that run BlackBerry 7.

India's leading telco is offering up to 16 percent off on the BlackBerry 9720, which means users can buy the handset for Rs 13,490 instead of its earlier price tag that read Rs 15,990. The 9720 blends a QWERTY keyboard with a 2.8-inch touch display, but runs on the older BB7 OS. The older Curve series is also on sale; Airtel offers a 33 percent discount and has slashed the price of the BlackBerry Curve 9220 to Rs 7,999. The device was earlier priced at Rs 11,990.

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Price slashed

Earlier this week, the company announced price drop for the BlackBerry Q5 to Rs 19,999 as a New Year offer. The company said the move was “in line with BlackBerry's commitment towards the Indian market and will help the brand to reach out to more potential customers”, though there's a feeling, the company is preparing to launch newer models, which will replace the BB10 handsets released last year. BlackBerry has also tied up with Foxconn to build budget BB10 phones for 2014.

Launched in July 2013 for Rs 24,990, the Q5 was BlackBerry’s attempt to bring BB10 to the budget segment, even though it wasn’t really competing with low-cost Androids at that price range. As we found in our review, the performance of the phone was under par and it didn’t have much going for it in terms of user experience either. The touch and QWERTY combination is not exactly the right showcase for the OS, which already faced severe criticism for the lack of native apps.

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