Psst, hey buddy, want a free BlackBerry?

The BlackBerry Z10 is free through Verizon and 49 cents through AT&T, with the usual two-year contract. But will buyers bite at a free or cheap BlackBerry?

BlackBerry's Z10 can be yours for free.
BlackBerry's Z10 can be yours for free. Josh Miller/CNET

Verizon and AT&T are both trying to unload their stock of BlackBerry Z10 phones.

The Z10 is now free through Verizon with the usual two-year contract. And it costs just 49 cents via AT&T, also with the standard two-year agreement.

Those deals represent a major price drop for the Z10, which originally sold for $199 through both carriers. But the phone has failed to light much of a fire under consumers. In September, BlackBerry reported a fiscal second-quarter loss of $965 million, with most of the blame pinned on a $934 million write-down in inventory of the Z10 .

Around the same time, T-Mobile revealed that it would no longer stock BlackBerry phones in its retail stores .

Verizon and AT&T have little choice but to discount the phone. But at this point, even a free or cheap BlackBerry won't drum up much interest.

It's not the cost of the phone that determines consumer demand. It's partly the phone itself but also the operating system and the apps that make or break a device. And in these areas, BlackBerry was simply overwhelmed by competition from the Android and Apple juggernaut.

With the company's mobile future hazy at best, consumers are also unlikely to buy a BlackBerry phone with a contract that bogs them down for the next two years.

(Via The Next Web)

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.


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