BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s Android-based Priv sells out at Wal-Mart (WMT)
In an unusual development, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s first Android-based smartphone, Priv, sold out at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), an indication of strong demand for the device. BlackBerry initially only sold the handset through AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) stores, but has recently made it available on Wal-Mart and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) stores.
The Priv “out of stock” situation at Wal-Mart didn’t last long, though, as the retailer was able to almost quickly replenish the inventory. Nevertheless, it left a positive impression about customer interest in the device.
The fact that Priv sold out at a major retailer such as Wal-Mart bears great significance – to BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) and its shareholders. In one way, it does show that BlackBerry’s Android strategy may have struck the right chord with customers, who are now not hesitating to grab the device whenever it is available. In some other way, the Priv “out of stock” situation at Wal-Mart also gives hope that BlackBerry could reach its device sales targets.
Carrier support for Priv
More U.S. carriers are vying to support Priv. At least Verizon Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and T-Mobile US Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS) have promised that Priv is coming “soon” to their networks. Expanding carrier support for Priv not only boosts the profile of the device but also increases its uptake opportunity.
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) is believed to have moved to Android platform with Priv to initially test the waters, especially to gauge how the market would react to it making Android-themed smartphones. If it does succeed with the Android strategy, BlackBerry would no doubt want to produce more Android handsets. However, if the strategy fails, the company would have learned important lessons and it can go back to strengthening and promoting its native mobile operating system rather than attempting to plug into rival platform as a quick fix.
Device sales target
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) is targeting to sell at least 5 million handsets a year to bring its devices business to profitability or at least break-even. With only 800,000 devices sold in the last quarter, BlackBerry has more ground to cover on that front. However, the success of Priv should shorten the time to meet the devices sales target.
Owning BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s Priv will set you back $699.
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