Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Trade-in numbers show loyal BlackBerry fans still exist, as BB10 nears

As RIM's BlackBerry 10 launch closes in -- a launch that some believe is make-or-break for the company -- NextWorth, one of those trade-in sites that allows users to sell their used hardware, has surprising news: There are still many loyal BlackBerry users.

NextWorth's PR firm reached out to us with some hopeful information for RIM. The company's data shows that -- despite what you might think -- some Blackberry handsets have resell values that are neck-and-neck with those of the world's largest cell phone manufacturer, Samsung.

RIM has seen its fortunes decline, nay, plummet as consumers and businesses have adopted iPhone and Android devices.

The numbers show that despite what many believe, there is still a strong secondary market for RIM's devices. Jeff Trachsel, CMO of NextWorth, said that "The numbers show a robust secondary market for Blackberry that is keeping up residual value. This could definitely be indicative of the dedicated nature of Blackberry enthusiasts."

Among the average trade-in values for Blackberry devices reported by NextWorth:
  • Blackberry Torch 9810 ($78)
  • BlackBerry Torch 9800 ($54)
  • BlackBerry Bold 9700 ($36)
  • BlackBerry Curve 9300 ($20)
None of these are particularly new, though, and it's surprising that the Torch 9810, first released back in 2011, is priced at that high a value.

As an example of a competitive Samsung device, released around the same time, the Galaxy S II (AT&T) has a $115 value at NextWorth. The Galaxy S III (AT&T) has a $192 value.

Still, that still shows that BlackBerry devices have relevance for many.

NextWorth sent a graph (above) of average time in the market vs. residual value, and it's pretty interesting. Apple devices, of course, retain the highest value with 21.1 percent value vs. its non-contract price. HTC -- strangely -- is second at 14.1 percent, while Samsung -- again strangely -- is third at 9.8 percent, while RIM's devices slot in at 9.4 percent.

BlackBerry 10 will be unveiled on Jan. 30. The event will happen simultaneously in multiple countries around the world. Not only will the platform be officially introduced, RIM will share details of its first BB10 smartphones, as well as their availability. The company's initial smartphones are expected to be a full touch-screen device and one resembling its current flagship line, the BlackBerry Bold.

Showing the significance of BB10, RIM is set to unveil its first Super Bowl ad -- ever -- on Feb. 3, during Super Bowl XLVII.

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