I was in an AT&T Store a week ago activating an iPhone 5 for my wife. We had some time as the staff was busy with other customers. So I wandered around the store. There were all three iPhones on display with the new ones strategically aligned closest to the door, plenty of Android phones, and a couple of Windows Phones.
I noticed something conspicuous. No Blackberry devices. An intern came around to check on me and I mentioned this fact. One of the sales guys at the counter, overhearing our conversation, called out that they had some “in the back.” I commented back that it is hard to sell phones that are “in the back.”
I don’t hold out much hope for BlackBerry. A few weeks ago Fairfax Financial (an insurance company?) agreed to buy it. BlackBerry’s market cap is down to $4 billion, 8% of its high less than five years before. Already rumors are swirling that the price will drop from $9 per share to $7 before the deal closes.
It strikes me that that conversation with the AT&T salesman perfectly reflects the demise of the company. It used to be that BlackBerry phones had the iPhone shelf position, right up front closest to the door so you can see them the moment you walk in. Now the products are in the back. Soon they will be sent back, marked obsolete and eventually destroyed.
If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend the Globe & Mail article entitled How BlackBerry Blew It: The Inside Story.