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Smartphone Buyers Say "Do Not Want!" to BlackBerry

By Alex Planes - Apr 11, 2013 at 3:36PM

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These are some ugly survey results for Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry.

That's gotta hurt. A Raymond James poll, made public earlier today, lets BlackBerry (BB -4.03%) know in no uncertain terms that consumers want nothing to do with its products. More than 250 people replied to the poll, which asked about the features that might drive the purchase of a new smartphone -- with a twist: One answer allowed people to say they would never consider buying a certain brand. More than 71% of all responses had no interest in BlackBerry at all, compared to 31% for Google's Android phones and just 20% for Apple's (AAPL -2.91%) iPhones. This may be good news for Apple as much as it is bad news for BlackBerry, as the iPhone maker has often drawn polarizing responses from consumers. However, it's worth taking this survey with a grain of salt, as a statistically valid survey will inevitably have more than 1,000 responses -- not just 250.

This sentiment smackdown arrives on the heels of another survey, released two days ago by MKM Partners and Barron's, showing that 83% of American consumers weren't even aware of the launch of the BlackBerry 10 operating system (along with the Z10, a phone that has its fair share of domestic problems). This survey polled more than 1,500 people and had similar results to the Raymond James poll in terms of preference, finding that 68% of American consumers weren't interested in a Blackberry 10 phone at all. Between these surveys and recent reports of Z10 returns outpacing Z10 sales, it should be small wonder that BlackBerry slid lower throughout today's trading session.

ITG analyst Joe Fersedi noted that the Z10 launch was lousy and only got worse, with sales in line with older BlackBerry models. The Z10 initially claimed 4% share of the sales in Verizon (VZ 1.56%) stores and 7% in AT&T (T 1.76%) stores, but now its share of those carriers' sales has shriveled to 1% and 2%, respectively. Detwiler analyst Jeff Johnston noted that he had never seen a launch where returns exceeded sales prior to the Z10. On the other hand, Johnston expects BlackBerry's keyboard-equipped Q10 to perform better. At least BlackBerry has a niche. Will this optimism bear out in light of the reported dislike of the BlackBerry 10 OS?

However, if you're one of the rare few consumers champing at the bit for a brand-new BlackBerry, you're in luck! While the Z10 launched with a $199 sticker price, Amazon.com has already decided to lower its price for a Z10 with a two-year contract with either AT&T or Verizon to just $99. What a steal! Even if you were one of the few people who bought a Z10 and don't want to return it, Amazon will even give you a $50 credit -- with some possible caveats, so (repeat) buyer beware.

Will you be picking up a new BlackBerry, or are you one of the 71% saying "Do not want!" to the Canadian smartphone maker?

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BlackBerry Stock Quote
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$5.71 (-4.03%) $0.24
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Verizon Communications Inc.
VZ
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T
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