Will the BlackBerry Q10 Succeed in Canada?

The Q10 brings back to life the classic BlackBerry flavour that BlackBerry loyalists had been waiting for. But can the dethroned tech giant actually get its customers back with the very thing that had made it an outcast?

The company is trying to make a real comeback with its new handsets. And while some people are enthusiastic about the new Q10, others are wondering whether it’ll go flat in a few months.

PACKING A REAL PUNCH?

Thorsten seems to be talking up a good game when it comes to the new set, but is it a game he can’t possibly win? The short answer is maybe, and the long answer has to do with taking a look at user preference trends.

Users shifted away from BlackBerry because of the QWERTY keyboards; the keyboard cellphone was out and the touchscreen smartphone was in—there has been no real change in that trend either. The Q10 returns with a QWERTY keyboard and it’s supposed to presumably up the ante on the Z10. While loyalists will be loyalists and they’ll hog these phones faster than a fat kid finds candy, the real scenario is that adoption from users who are glued to other sets is going to be the real tester for BlackBerry.

THE LITTLE DETAILS

Other than the obvious physical keyboard attached to the phone, the Q10 has a longer battery life and slick performance. It also boasts of the latest from the BlackBerry OS factory.

That being said, the phone offers nothing phenomenal and often falls short of presenting any features that can really hook people in. For users who like QWERTY keyboards (who are very few in number as compared to their touchscreen-loving counterparts), the phone does offer a revisit to the typing experience they loved oh-so-much. However, for people who are used to a larger screen experience, want a camera that’s brilliant, and need a ton of apps, this phone falls short.

At the end of the day, when you look at phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 and even the Nokia Lumia series, you sort of wonder “what’s the big deal?” when you see the Q10. And while initial sales seem to be promising, the fact remains that it’ll take a lot more for an iPhone or Android users to switch.

THE MARKET SPEAKS

The Q10 doesn’t seem to be following in the footsteps of the Z10, which got mixed reactions from the market. While initial reports from Glentel on the Z10 suggested that it was giving the iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy phones  a good amount of trouble in the Canadian market, sales eventually slowed down to a point where the Z10 didn’t seem to sizzle anymore.

Compared to that, the Q10, which is supposed to be the better phone, aims to snatch back the physical keyboard loving consumers that have been missing the QWERTY experience. The new set sold out within 90 minutes of its launch in the UK, and a similar trend is rumoured to have occurred Canada.

Shares are up by 3% and some are touting this as slow but steady progress. Toronto itself is seeing massive demand where most places are either sold out or have limited stock. However, most are attributing this interest to the initial hype for the phone.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The bottom line is that while it may not be headed for definite failure, the Q10 is also not going to help BlackBerry regain its throne. The consumers kicked BlackBerry out of the market because it refused to change to their tastes and preference, something which the iPhone and Android people were pretty good at figuring out.

Expecting it to tickle every QWERTY enthusiast’s fancy is normal. But assuming that it’ll be able to grab the attention of others who are used to a superior cellular experience is stretching it.