BlackBerry positions Q10 as 'lifestyle' product in UK

LONDON: BlackBerry is positioning its new Q10 phone as a "lifestyle product and must-have accessory" to compete with the "insane" competition in the marketplace.

LONDON: BlackBerry is positioning its new Q10 phone as a "lifestyle product and must-have accessory" to compete with the "insane" competition in the marketplace.

Rob Orr, UK MD at BlackBerry, said the company was engaging lifestyle publications to ensure "more people understand who we are, what we are about, and what we are building.”

In order to reach a different audience, BlackBerry launched the Q10 phone exclusively with high-end retailer Selfridges before rolling it out to other retailers in the coming week.  

The phone is being positioned for the premium market with the handset costing £580 (about $900), while Vodafone is offering it on pre-order for £37 ($57) a month with unlimited calls and texts and 1GB of data. 

“There is obviously going to be a part of the market that can't afford to spend £580 on a phone or £37 a month [but] consumer behavior is changing and people are spending more of their disposable income on consumer electronic gadgets,” said Orr. “I look at the numbers on a daily basis and the number of phones sold in the £500-plus segment is growing very fast."

BlackBerry believes the premium end of the smartphone market is changing with the shift exemplified by the changing nature of contracts being offered by operators. 

Orr cited O2 Refresh, which allows consumers to swap mobile phones mid-contract, as a "cracking innovation" that gives greater "transparency to the handset price.”

He added that people "want to have the latest phone as soon as they come out rather than having to wait until month 21 [of their contract].”

BlackBerry is launching the Q10 at the same time as the much-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S4, which rolled out in the UK this weekend. 

As a result, Orr was reluctant to detail marketing plans for the Q10 to avoid giving away any secrets due to the "insane level" of competition. 

However, he did confirm the overall marketing push will fit into the brand's over-arching "keep moving" marketing strategy, which it launched in January for the BlackBerry 10 operating system. 

Orr argued that he "absolutely believes" there is a unique place in the market for the Q10 in the face of the Samsung Galaxy S4 launch because of its physical QWERTY keyboard. 

“There is a big space out there for a physical keyboard, and the market is not going to go away – it is here to stay,” he concluded.

This story originally appeared on the website of Marketing, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.

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