Waterloo, Ontario phone maker BlackBerry has opened a pop-up shop in Manhattan’s Brookfield Place, located across the street from the new World Trade Center Site in Battery Park, which will stock unlocked models of the Priv, Passport, Passport Silver Edition, Classic, and Leap.
BlackBerry is probably about $1 billion in sales away from opening anything similar to the gleaming, white-cube, church-like atmosphere of the Apple Store, but any attempt to make its products more accessible ought to reassure BlackBerry diehards, who are frequently discouraged by analyst reports suggesting that BlackBerry call it a day and concentrate on the non-handset aspects of its business.
According to their most recent quarterly report on April 1, BlackBerry’s non-GAAP software and services revenue climbed 106% year-over-year to $153 million, accounting for just over 30% of total revenue, with 70% of its quarterly software revenue organic and recurring.
That is to say, BlackBerry is doing extremely well if you subtract the very thing that the company is best known for, its handset division, from its overall performance.
With the enterprise aspects of its business thriving, BlackBerry would certainly be a much healthier company if it concentrated on its success stories, like automotive operating system provider QNX Software, Good Technology, Project Ion, BlackBerry Radar, and emergency services communications provider AtHoc Inc.
But there is still some residual pride in BlackBerry not giving up entirely on the business that made its name to begin with, and by all accounts (not to mention rumours and leaked images) the company is currently developing a new line of phones, presumably slightly lower-cost versions of the Priv.
That and the fact that in April, they hired Alex Thurber as Senior Vice President, Global Device Sales, implies that BlackBerry still sees a future in its hardware division.
Reinvestment in the Global Device Sales department, a lot of hype surrounding pending new devices, and the opening of a pop-up retail space all point to the rumours of BlackBerry’s demise as a handset manufacturer being exaggerated.
This is not BlackBerry’s first foray into customer-facing retail.
Last September, BlackBerry opened a pop-up shop in Frankfurt, Germany’s MyZeil shopping centre, which provided customers an opportunity to purchase a phone or relax in the 1,700 square foot retail space’s lounge area.
The BlackBerry pop-up shop is located at 10281, in the Brookfield Place shopping complex, 230 Vesey Street, and is open Monday-Saturday, 9:00 am-8:00 pm, as well as Sunday 12:00 pm-6:00 pm.
Phones will retail for the same price as ShopBlackBerry, but will also come bundled with a free case and sync pod.
— BlackBerry (@BlackBerry) June 21, 2016