Should I buy the BlackBerry Q10?

The BlackBerry Q10 goes on sale in Malaysia on May 15 2013. The suggested retail price is RM2,388 (USD$805). In Singapore it is suggested to sell at SGD$898 (RM2,167 – or USD$731). First question, why are Malaysians paying more?

Point to note: I would be upgrading from a Bold 9700, something I’ve used for many years. It has been in my pocket for a long time, there are dead pixels on the screen, it does scream for an update. It should also be noted that my main phone is an iPhone, while my secondary device for roaming purposes, is a Samsung Galaxy SIII.

I asked on Twitter and got some responses. Conclusion? Overpriced and not really value for money. I tend to agree with this – after all, you can get a HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S IV, or an iPhone for less than RM2,388. Don’t forget that with a BlackBerry the premium doesn’t end there – you pay for tremendous amounts of data usage, as they’ve decided to drop BIS.

So what were the initial draws to the BlackBerry for me?

  1. BIS and its low data consumption. The idea of data being free was common years ago, but nowadays its all metered. When you’re roaming, some countries have unlimited roaming data, but what about countries that don’t? Do I really want to be paying more to receive my email? I have that with Android/iOS already…
  2. BBM. My contact list now has a handful of people still using BBM. They all use WhatsApp or some other messenger service. Even BBM diehards have quit because the rest of the world moved on. Whatsapp does the same thing. And with partnerships on some telcos, you start seeing “free data usage” for services like KakaoTalk or WeChat.
  3. QWERTY keyboard. This is useful. This is the only reason why I didn’t even bother to look at the Z10. I like Swype. I like the Android keyboard on my Nexus 7. I like the iOS keyboard too. But at the end of the day, I love a hardware keyboard. Is this worth paying a premium for? I’m not so sure

Key-point: the BlackBerry has never been my primary phone. It was always the secondary device relegated to: email, Twitter, Bloomberg (for stocks), and the occasional WordPress blog entry.

I doubt it is the primary device for many. Social apps that friends use may not be present in record time. Maybe Instagram comes soon. Who cares? App developers are 100% focused on iOS and Android. Convincing them for the third platform is hard for BlackBerry, Nokia, etc.

Free devices to supposed “influencers” aren’t going to help at this price point, when all anyone wants under their Christmas tree is an iOS or the myriad of Android devices up for grabs. Remember that at the end of the day, no one cares about processor power, memory available, megapixel count, etc. – that’s the stuff that excites a tech reviewer but not the end user (I think Nokia learned this the hard way).

My prediction? This device isn’t going to do as well as planned and Brightstar has one million of these devices pre-ordered, so I expect heavy discounting going forward. 

Can anyone convince me why I should ditch the Bold 9700 (for the Q10) going forward? 


  1. Mellissa says:

    I’ve seen it, and it’s a pretty sexy but it’s for die hard Blackberry fans. Was thinking of getting it as a secondary phone (I can’t do Android …) but it’s pretty pricey. Think I’ll get another iPhone instead.