BlackBerry has cut prices for its flagship smartphone from $199 to $49 and $99.
The BlackBerry Z10 is now selling for $99 from AT&T and Verizon, while Amazon is selling it at $49. The price drop is aimed at breathing life into sales for the Canadian company, which lost $84 million in the most recent quarter.
“Now is the right time to adjust the price,” a BlackBerry spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s part of life cycle management to tier the pricing for current devices to make room for the next ones.”
That could mean the company is selling the stock on shelves now before it launches a second-generation smartphone with the same Z10 DNA. The price cut from the original $199 price just four months ago isn’t a good sign for BlackBerry, formerly known as Research in Motion.
Thorsten Heins, chief executive of BlackBerry, acknowledged that the launch of the latest smartphones in the U.S. didn’t go as well as the company had hoped. BlackBerry also let go of its head of U.S. sales, Richard Piasentin, last month. It’s an uphill battle for BlackBerry to gain market share in a field crowded with devices running Apple’s iOS, Google Android, and Windows Phone.
Kantar Worldpanel, a market researcher, said that in the three months ending May 2012 BlackBerry had 4.6 percent market share, compared to more than 50 percent a few years back.