Today, March 12, 2013, is the official start of pre-orders on the AT&T network with AT& T and in Best Buy stores. I decided, on this lovely rainy grey day to visit 3 Best Buy stores: 1 in Rockland County, NY and 2 in Westchester County. The 3 stores comprised 2 managers and 5 retail sales associates (RSAs). At the first store, the manager had no knowledge of the availability of the BlackBerry (BBRY) Z10 on pre-order/street date. When he asked the associate at the Mobile center, she stated that she had no knowledge. When I insisted they check, sure enough the manager found the info, and tried to sell me the phone. At another store ( in Westchester County), the one associate behind the mobile desk was on the ball, she new that Best Buy was offering a $50.00 gift card (which can be used towards the phone purchase-next week or subsequently) with the pre-order of a BlackBerry Z10 on AT&T, with a deposit of $50.00 towards the phone at $199 with a two year contract. At the third store, again the manager had no idea of the pre-order availability, and neither did the 3 associates behind the desk. When I pressed them, the manager checked and agreed that in fact the BlackBerry Z10 was available on pre-order. So, in my small sampling I found that only 20% of the associates I asked about the Z10 roll-out were aware of it, and none of the two managers. It also appeared that a majority of the RSAs weren’t familiar with the re-designed BlackBerry Z10 with the QNX platform.
There were no model phones or any end-caps with information on the new devices, 1 week prior to the in-store availability. Is a repeat of the lack-luster push of the Playbook in Best Buy stores about to materialize for the new Z10?
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