In line with recent price drops on its Z10 and Q10 smartphones, under the guise of festival offers, BlackBerry India has now slashed the price of its cheapest BlackBerry 10 smartphone, the Q5 QWERTY to Rs 19,990. The Q5 price cut is under a ‘New Year Bonanza offer.’
The Q5 is available in three colours–red, white and black.
It remains to be seen if Indian customers take up the Q5 at this new price point.
BlackBerry sales have crashed in India in recent months. According to IDC India, BlackBerry’s share of the Indian smartphone market dropped to 2 percent in the AMJ 2013 quarter from 7 percent a year earlier, even as smartphone sales in India are growing at over 50 percent annually.
Market tracker CMR shows BlackBerry’s market share slipped to 0.7 percent in July, down from 7.1 percent a year earlier.
And there’s worse. In the past two quarters, BlackBerry has been forced to make huge writedowns because of poor sales of its BlackBerry 10 smartphones and in the most recent quarterly result, it became apparent that even the few customers that BlackBerry has today are buying older BlackBerry OS smartphones that run a legacy operating system, as compared to newer BlackBerry 10 smartphones that the company has been pushing.
However, BlackBerry has made it clear that it is not exiting the smartphone business and has recently announced a 5-year deal with Foxconn, the contract manufacturer of Apple iPhone, etc, where BlackBerry will focus on design and software while Foxconn will build handsets in Indonesia and Mexico primarily to tap the budget consumer devices market in emerging regions by early 2014.
A new smartphone for emerging markets (starting with Indonesia, but which should come to India) has been announced as part of this deal.