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Why Is the New BlackBerry Bold So Expensive?

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This morning, the rumors were confirmed. Sprint and Verizon will be offering the BlackBerry Bold 9930 for $250 on a new two-year contract and AT&T will presumably charge around the same for its model, the BlackBerry Bold 9900.

I’ve been sitting here, thinking about this all morning and quite honestly, I still can’t put my finger on exactly why RIM and the carriers are charging this much money for this phone.

The next iPhone won’t even be priced that high.

Honestly, I have a few theories and all of them are weak. One, the carriers already know that this thing is going to sell poorly and they want to maximize profit. Problem is, this is one of the most anticipated BlackBerry’s in a long time and a lot of people have been excited to pick it up. Wouldn’t they make more money selling a ton of them with a price tag of say, $150?

BlackBerry Bold 9900I can’t even begin to think about how many people have been alienated by this pricing.

Two, they want to make it seem desirable. Another problem. Anyone doing their research will notice that one, this thing doesn’t have WiMax or 4G LTE capabilities and two, the specs are dated. I understand that it has some things to like, the form factor and such, but I still don’t see this phone being worth $250 especially with all of the launches just around the corner.

Furthermore, BlackBerry is going to be ditching BlackBerry 7 next year when it releases QNX-powered handsets. I’m supposed to believe that signing a new two-year contract for a phone with an operating system that is soon to be replaced is a smart thing to do? I might do such a thing if the phone was free but $250 is absolutely ludicrous.

People will still buy it though and that’s another puzzle I am trying to solve. Why? Why on earth would you purchase this phone for $250? Are the carriers and RIM hoping that businesses buy up a ton of these at this price? Why would they when you can get the iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 for cheaper? Is there some discount for the new Bold that I am missing? Seriously, what is going on here?

What it comes down to is that I think RIM and the carriers are banking on BlackBerry’s loyal following. Unfortunately, that following started to wither with the rise of Android and will continue to fall as Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform continues to grow.

So if that’s the logic they are using here, it doesn’t make sense, but then again, a lot of what RIM does doesn’t make sense which kind of makes all of this start to make, well, sense.

18 Comments

  1. Mikep821

    08/15/2011 at 10:05 pm

    I agree with that. But I am a loyal BB fan and I have been unpatiently waiting for the 9930 to come. So I’m going to waste my money and buy it…..cause it’s my money.

    Loyal BB fan!

    • john bishem

      07/07/2012 at 10:02 am

      Cause your a fag.

      • Andy

        09/05/2012 at 11:52 am

        No, John. A fag would be an Apple user.

  2. Mikep821

    08/15/2011 at 10:05 pm

    I agree with that. But I am a loyal BB fan and I have been unpatiently waiting for the 9930 to come. So I’m going to waste my money and buy it…..cause it’s my money.

    Loyal BB fan!

  3. Tim

    08/15/2011 at 10:16 pm

    I agree. I am also a BB fan and through my Verizon Business acvount, my 2- year price ws $199.99. I ended up buying it at the 1-year price of $229.99 however, so I can upgrade next year if they actually releaee a new BB in 2012.

  4. Brianflys

    08/16/2011 at 12:13 am

    It’s not an iPhone.  Thank God.  I and many others want nothing to do with the Apple gulag.  RIM and Blackberry are secure, fast, efficient data devices.  Angry Birds?  Who cares, if you have a job to do and want to get real work done.  I don’t need 10,000 flatulent and flashlight apps.  If you actually look, there are apps to do anything you want on a Blackberry, in a business or professional setting.  And did I say this device and BES are secure?  That is important to people who are not kids, tech dweebs, or others who bow at the Apple alter.  And iPhone 5 will not even be 4G, so are you going to call it “dated” or “wonderful”?  Hardware keyboards are vital if you actually want to get work done.  Perhaps people who use Apple devices get their money from family or some other non-work source.
    This devices is well worth the $200 price point.
    Cheers!

    • Trezz09

      08/18/2011 at 2:17 pm

      Another person calling Apple users children. Original. Just leave it at, it’s about preference. Why do Apple haters continue to bash its users when I really don’t see (correct me if I’m wrong) many Apple users doing this to other operating system users. Feel good about yourself big man?

  5. Jlee

    08/16/2011 at 1:14 am

    I totally agree with Brianflys.  I had both the Blackberry and the iphone 4.  I’m sticking with the Blackberry…

  6. Jayhova

    08/16/2011 at 1:17 am

    Wow you guys are cheap.  If it came out at $200 dollars you guys would say it’s market priced.  But, at 250 all of a sudden RIM doesn’t know what it’s doing.  People, its 50 Dollars.  Relax, take a deep breath and know that you aren’t going to get kicked out of your apartment for shelling out the extra 50 on a great phone.  Go get an LG phone, they’re 50 bucks and let me know how that works out.  

  7. vzwrepanonomous

    08/16/2011 at 3:28 am

    This entire post is the most ignorant, ill-researched article i have ever read about any piece of modern day technology… to date.

    First off, i must say, I HATE BLACKBERRY!. But if you think 250 bucks is too much for a 3 inch touch screen, and a full qwerty keyboard all on a one plane interface, and staying under 5 ounces, and being 10 mm thin, you have either been living under a rock, or you have a first gen iphone and you have lost all sense of price. this phone should be 289, 349 on a 1 year contract. i gurantee this phone is at least 699 retail.

    • Trezz09

      08/18/2011 at 2:18 pm

      Um?

    • Trezz09

      08/18/2011 at 2:18 pm

      Um?

  8. Avinash Varma

    08/16/2011 at 5:08 am

    The full price of the bold 9900/9930 is almost 150$ less than the full price for the iphone. Obviously the carriers think the device is well worth its prize tag.

  9. Mike H

    08/16/2011 at 11:53 pm

    Wow these are some terrible and biased comments.  BB fan boys, like all other fan boys, will bend over backwards to purchase what they want – thus unfair comments.  Likewise, those who comment on $50 increase as being insignificant are myopic.

    The author makes clear, pointed, and fact based remarks to question the price decision of 9900/9930.  These are logical and real questions anyone in business knows drives the consumer cycle in the world.  Price is a BIG point.  It’s not “just $50″. Why do you think marketers price something at $99 instead of $100?  because $99 works.

    I can go on for days on why the previous commenters either suck or are ignorant.  but i’ll try to refrain.

    That said, I completely agree with author and am also stumped as to why on earth RIM priced the device so high in the USA.  Are they purposely trying to cash in on corporate profits? Do they know they have a “failure” product that can never compete w/ iPhone, so why bother? And now they’re only playing the premiumnization game to capture the “because it’s a new product” $$ command premium?

    I for one have owned BBerries, iPhone, WinPho7 and all the likes… was intending on getting the 9930 but now will most likely wait and see what the world offers in 3-5 months.   Price fail RIM… price fail.

    • greg

      08/17/2011 at 12:06 pm

      but then again who cares about f iphone !!!!!! ( Do they know they have a “failure” product that can never compete w/ iPhone, so why bother?) 

  10. Missbabsonmars

    09/01/2011 at 4:40 am

    I was a faithful BB user for many years.  Just got an I-Phone 4 and am kicking myself I didn’t do it sooner.  One reason is the incredible, endless number of practical apps., which the BB is seriously lacking.  I had always heard that BB was preferable to the I-Phone for e-mail; however, I have seven e-mail accounts on the I-Phone, and they are easier to use than on the BB. 

  11. rhia

    08/02/2012 at 4:37 pm

    wow honestly if the damn phone is so expensive dont u think ur gunna get what u paid for there not dumb they know y they priced it that high i would buy an bb over a iphone nobody uses half those apps poor ppl this days have iphone its so sterotype to have one plus every minute theres a new iphone coming outs its a waste of money honestly

  12. Tiger Woods

    06/08/2013 at 9:24 am

    Two years after its release the Bold 9900 is STILL $199.99

    The Samsung S4 is 1000 times better and it too is $199.99.

    Needless to say Rim has fallen off the face of the earth. Had they priced the Bold at 99.99 when it was released and gradually reduced the price over the past 24 months they might not have lost the majority of their loyal users.

    Epic fail.

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