When the first BlackBerry retail outlet opened in Farmington
Hills, Michigan, Research In Motion (NASDAQ:
) had hoped to create the start of an empire. Six years later,
that empire has been abolished, dethroned and cast aside by two
unexpected competitors: Android and iOS. To be fair, BlackBerry
does not need a single store to be successful. RIM smartphones
existed for several years without its own branded retailer.
Samsung, the world's largest smartphone producer, does not have
any stores in North America.
While RIM may never have a retail chain comparable to Apple
), that has not stopped the media from fawning over the new
BlackBerry 10 OS. The hype has been unstoppable. In this year
alone, Research In Motion has risen 25 percent as investors
prepare for the first major upgrade since BB 7.
That said, media hype and investor support do not guarantee
that a product will be successful. To see what consumers really
think of BlackBerry 10, Benzinga placed a call to the
to inquire about the upcoming OS.
Benzinga: Hi, I was wondering when the new BlackBerry devices
were coming out.
Dale Wiltse, Store Manager: "They're supposed to be out before
the end of the month, but we haven't gotten a release date for
Is there a lot of buzz around them? Are you seeing a lot of
interest in your store?
Dale: "Yeah, but I haven't gotten anything to even show
anybody what it's gonna look like."
When do you expect you'll have that?
Dale: "I don't know. We're at the mercy of everybody
Have a lot of people been inquiring about it?
Dale: "No. Not a ton. A few people."
Last year I read an article about your store that claimed it
was not doing well.
Dale: "Correct. We switched the store over to a repair place.
There will still be some BlackBerry stock but most of it's repair
Repair for BlackBerry?
Dale: "Repair for all phones."
When did that switch take place?
Dale: "October is when we opened."
You closed the store down for a bit?
After more than five years of service, the BlackBerry store is
nothing more than a cellular repair shop. Worse yet, only a "few"
people have inquired about BlackBerry 10.
This is not a good sign for investors who are long Research In
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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