Will Consumers Flip for the Newest Member of the BlackBerry Family?

I love new cell phone releases — a new cell phone makes me as happy as a kid in a candy store! Partly because I study cell phones here at Compete, but I also love these nifty little contraptions and all of the fun stuff we can do with them these days. Every new cell phone model boasts cooler features and smarter applications then its predecessors. Still, the allure of a cell phone comes not only from its features and software, but from the way it looks.

Last week, at the CTIA trade show, RIM announced their newest BlackBerry model. The new BlackBerry Pearl 8220, a flip phone version of the popular original, will appear exclusively at T-Mobile later this year.

Color me excited to see this new wonder added to the "˜miracle’ that is the BlackBerry. A flip version of the Pearl?! (I wonder if John McCain had a hand in this"¦)

This announcement got me thinking about how others will perceive the new addition to the BlackBerry family.

In August, only about 7% of smartphone shoppers looked at flip phone models. Thinking that this could just be due to a lack of flip phone models in the smartphone space, I took a deeper look at the interest smartphone shoppers are showing for flip phones.

Read as: 3% of smartphone shoppers also viewed the LG Voyager at Verizon Wireless in the month of August 2008.

  • The level of interest here is very low — even the popular Voyager only sees interest from about 3% of smartphone shoppers
  • The flip phone most interesting to smartphone shoppers, the LG Voyager, is itself a smartphone

So, based on the interest (or lack thereof) that smartphone shoppers are showing in flip phone models, the immediate outlook for this new BlackBerry Pearl flip phone is a little bleak.

However, now that BlackBerry is offering a flip phone, it’s possible the numbers will tell a different story in the coming months. Clearly they’re going for a new look to shake up the classic look of a BlackBerry. Could this be the start of something big for smartphone shoppers across the country? Will we start seeing more flip versions of smartphones? I’ll be watching the new model releases with excitement!

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