IDC: BlackBerry sales plummet in India, down by more than half in Q3

BlackBerry is a lot like compatriot politician Rob Ford right now: it’s all over the place, close to falling off the precipice, and people are pretty sure they’ve been smoking crack for years to end up so messed up. According to a new report from research group IDC, things are getting even worse: BlackBerry sales have more than halved this summer in India.

IDC claims that BlackBerry has shipped a mere 68,000 phones to sellers in Q3, from July to September. That’s down from 150,000 units in Q2. The Canadian phone-maker sold 152,000 in Q3 2012, so it’s way down on a year-on-year basis as well.

BlackBerry disputed the numbers in the Times of India article, claiming that it calculates sales differently, and pointing out that this summer its product line-up was in transition:

This data is factually incorrect. BlackBerry does not break our overall sales numbers by country, but we can confirm that our sell-out was significantly higher than the number quoted by you. IDC captures sell-in numbers only, and is not a true reflection of actual sales-out to end customers.

Furthermore, in Q3, we had only two BlackBerry 10 products in market namely Z10 and Q10, both of which were in the plus Rs 40,000 price category. Our Q5 and BlackBerry 9720 launches took place later in that quarter and hence is not an accurate measure of sales figures through a complete quarter.

Indeed, the cheaper BlackBerry 9720 model – running the firm’s old and supposedly obsolete OS – could boost sales numbers later this year. But the IDC figures nonetheless show that BlackBerry’s first OS 10 phones – the Z10 and Q10 – are flopping badly with merchants, and are presumably not being demanded much by consumers.

Even if it is a transitionary issue for BlackBerry, it’s still terrible timing. Android-powered Samsung and Micromax phones are growing strongly across a wide array of price-points in the country, while the iPhone is finally picking up pace in terms of India sales this year.

(Source: Times of India; Image credit: Al-Jazeera English on Flickr)

(Editing by Terence Lee)

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