Weekly Contest: Home Sweet Home

Earlier this week, RIM partnered up with Wireless Giant to launch a dedicated BlackBerry store, which is a pretty big step. The more hopeful among us might see this as a sign of a larger move away from carrier dependency, while others might see the opening as a cute pilot project that won’t really go anywhere. Regardless, BlackBerry now has a real brick-and-mortar consumer home in Michigan, and its success will determine how much further RIM goes with the idea. This week we’re asking BBCool readers: will BlackBerry stores spread? Is it commercially viable? Can you see a branch in every major city? How do carriers feel? Does it work to their advantage or detriment to have comparable plans right next to one another? As for the prize for the best comment, this week we’ll be giving away the Curve or Pearl skin of your choice from the fine folks at DecalGirl.

There seems to be a common thread for checking e-mail in the can, but Patrick’s story about checking his e-mail during a car crash was just too funny. Let’s just hope the two weren’t related, huh? Thanks for participating guys, and we hope to see you again this week.

6 Responses to “Weekly Contest: Home Sweet Home”

  1. 1 Christopher

    I think the store can work and here are a few reasons why:

    I just recently came back from a deployment and of course after being in Iraq suffering with no data on the network and cheap nokia brick phones for the last 15 months everyone had to go out and buy the latest and greatest phones. I know of at least 15 people who purchased blackberries. Now this might now seem like an outragous number of people especially considering that over 300 people are in my unit but like I said there were about 15 that I have seen. There are probably another 10 or 15 that I haven’t seen yet. I personally believe that out of everyone who considered a up-level pda type phone maybe 50% purchased a Blackberry. There are your few that have purchased the iPhone (maybe 4 or 5 that I have seen), some sidekicks (maybe 1 or 2) and a few others who purchased other windows mobile devices (maybe 7 to 10) but the majority that bought phones costing over 100 bucks bought blackberries. Now this is from a group of people who all have been overseas and completely away from current technology for the last year or so. These are all mostly new users who didn’t have a clue what a blackberry was before we left because neither the pearl or the curve were out last August when we left. Also take in the fact that this is a bunch of Army soldiers who’s average pay is maybe in the mid $30K range at best, well less than the average BB user who probably makes closer to $100k.

    Also I was at the Acrua dealer last week getting a service done and while I was in the waiting area there were 3 people total and all three had blackberries. Two others had 8800’s and I had a pearl.

    Blackberries are a huge part of the mobile market now. I don’t know if they picked the right location for the store (I know nothing about Farmington Hills, Michigan) but one would definately suceed in any of the top 10 metro areas for sure. Bigger cities like NY, LA, Chicago, Dallas, etc. could probably support 2 or 3 stores with ease. Customers will most likely stick with whatever service gives them the best coverage or compare data rates between carriers and switch if they so choose. I do believe that most will stick with their same carrier even when they do upgrade their BB. But it would be great to take a phone on any given network and test it out for 10 days, then return it and pick up the same phone on a different network and try that out as well. And if neither of those suited you too well, go back the same store and try out another carrier. It would be the easiest way to pick between a 88xx, 83xx, or 81xx and pick GSM or CDMA to find out what works best for you in your location, and daily usage.

  2. 2 CJ

    I certainly would think that the store would work. Although it would work in bigger cities. In bigger cities there are more business people that is concerned with communication issues. Using BES would be very advantagious for business people, that is where Blackberry comes in. Having one is the best choice I have made. I am crazy with my Blackberry. Why not spread it to others.

  3. 3 Keith

    I unfortunatly dont think it will work. It is too bad because I just came from there and it was beautiful. I live only a few miles from this store. The staff was properly dressed, knowledable, and friendly. Everything about the store was great except the following:

    1- Rent: I know the rent there is very high and the area I think is not going to be a huge Blackberry market. They will need to sell a ton of Blackberry’s to make up for their high rent, beautiful buildout, payroll, etc.
    2- The accessories are outrageously priced. I purchased a desktop charger from there and paid probably $20 more than I would have anywhere else. I bought it just so I could say I was there.
    3-Michigan is doing very poorly right now. People are not spending money like they used to on phonese, gadgets, etc. Another problem with Michigan is that there is a cellular store on every corner. There is probably about 4 multibrand stores withing 1 mile from there and I know for sure a Sprint and a Verizon corporate store are within 1 mile as well.

    I do hope that it does work for Wireless Giant and RIM but I think they picked the wrong city and state for it.

  4. 4 David

    Maybe Blackberry set up this store as sort of a trial store to work out any kinks and to get a feel for the overall experience before branching out to busier cities. I think within a year or so we’ll see Blackberry stores in larger metropolitan areas.

    As for being commercially viable I would think that they are. They have a larger following than Palm and Palm already has stand alone stores in larger markets. It’s like an Apple store for PDA’s.

    Having all of their products on display through different carriers is a win, because the person is walking out with a Blackberry no matter what carrier they choose. As far as carriers go I can see them being indifferent as to where you’re picking up their service from.

  5. 5 Adam Helfman

    I live 5 minutes from the store. I was at the grand opening and i must tell you it was a fantastic hit! I believe this to be a boutique type store that will flourish in most AIRPORTS and in shopping malls like the Apple store. But this stand alone store really is an option. One thing that was not mentioned is the small classroom in the store that is a really cool idea for training etc. Go BB!!! Go wireless giant!

  6. 6 Mert

    Setting up a BlackBerry Shop is such a good idea that I’ ve been waiting so lately.In my case Definitely its gonna work and I think these shops would add a value of RIM.

    Kind Regards

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