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BlackBerry’s new device seeing strong demand

Telecom operators to offer attractive data package plans before the official launch

Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
Blackberry lovers booking for the newly launched Blackberry Z10 at fono store in Deira City Center, Dubai.
Gulf News

Dubai: Retailers in Dubai are hoping to see strong demand for new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone which was unveiled in Dubai on Wednesday.

Many have started taking pre-orders for the new device including the two telecom operators — etisalat and du.

The handset will be officially sold in Dubai from February 10 for Dh2,599, with both telecom operators expected to offer attractive data packages before the official launch.

According to an etisalat spokesperson, the pre-bookings started at 10am on Thursday.

“We are very optimistic about the product and we can see a strong demand in the days to come,” the spokesperson told Gulf News.

Axiom Telecom, which had started taking pre-orders before the event, said the response has been great so far.

“Not a day has gone by in recent weeks without Axiom employees being inundated with enquiries about BB10 platform and Z10,” Faisal Al Bannai, CEO of Axiom Telecom, told Gulf News.

“Levels of anticipation hit new high last week when we announced that we were taking pre-bookings from January 31, and following Wednesday’s launch, all signs point to Z10 being one of the year’s best-sellers.”

Al Bannai further said that Axiom has “hundreds of orders” on the books. “To ensure Axiom maintains its position as the go-to destination for BlackBerry in the region, we are pulling out the stops to offer a range of benefits like exclusive accessory packs, special prices for those trading in their BlackBerry 9900 devices, free regional warranty and MENA’s only one-hour repair service,” he pointed out.

Some retailers, on the other hand, said, it is too early to talk of pre-orders as they don’t yet have a demo device to show to the customers.

“We are seeing very strong orders for the product even without end users seeing the product. We will be getting a Z10 tomorrow [Friday] for display and then the demand will surely go up. Many of the customers haven’t seen the product,” said Nilesh Khalkho, CEO of Sharaf DG. The electronics retailer expects Blackberry Z10 to constitute 30 per cent of its sales after Samsung.

Further, etisalat is running a special offer on the BlackBerry Z10 for the BlackBerry Unlimited package where customers pay half the rental for the first four months. The package offered normally at Dh185 per month is now priced at Dh93, providing high internet access speeds to support the streaming of websites such as YouTube.

BlackBerry Complete remains available for Dh79 and BlackBerry Global for Dh299 per month.

“Smartphone users are looking forward to experience the mobility solutions of the BlackBerry Z10. The next generation device and operating system are set to become a game changer for the company and the telecom industry. Today, users look for devices and solutions that synchronise work and personal life into one platform. The new BlackBerry Z10 will offer this flexibility,” Khaled Al Khouly, chief marketing officer of etisalat, said in a statement.

Du was not available for comment. But the company’s website stated that customers can make a refundable deposit of Dh200 at any its stores to pre-order the device.