Word is BlackBerry’s new Priv is selling well at Wal-Mart. Verizon’s website says the Priv is coming soon.
But at the Verizon store across from my office, it hasn’t made much of an impression yet.
“Believe it or not, no. You’re actually the first customer,” said sales rep Danielle Casagrande.
The first to even ask about it, that is. Casagrande says she’s never heard of the Priv.
“I Googled it — just to make sure it was a real phone,” she said.
That doesn’t sound like what BlackBerry wants to hear; that the Priv may be just another in a long line of devices that didn’t catch on.
Jeff Kagan, a wireless industry analyst, says the company had high hopes for all its past failures. “Every one of them was supposed to save the company. They didn’t,” he said. “I’m afraid that this isn’t going to save the company either.”
The Priv uses the Android operating system, which will give users access to a million apps. A shortage of apps has been a major problem with previous BlackBerry devices. But, said Roger Entner, a telecom analyst with Recon Analytics, it may be too little too late. When it comes to BlackBerry and apps, he says you need to think Neil Armstrong.
“It’s a giant leap for BlackBerry but a small step for mankind.”