BlackBerry's fight back campaign officially begins in Australia today, with Optus first to offer the BlackBerry Z10 in retail stores.
Australia's number two telco is only first by a day with Telstra to have stock in shops tomorrow, though Telstra is already taking orders online.
The Z10 is available across the range of Optus consumer and business plans. AU$60 per month will be enough for a Z10 on an Optus $50 plan (plus a monthly $10 handset repayment), which includes 1GB data, $500 worth of calls and unlimited SMS.
Telstra will be marginally more expensive at AU$67 per month, including the monthly handset costs. It is also selling the Z10 outright for AU$696.
Long way to the top
The Z10 is a pivotal piece in BlackBerry's attempt to regain market share after consecutive years of losing its position in the smartphone category to Apple and high-profile Android OEMs, like Samsung. The all-touch Z10 has been designed to compete head-on with the iPhone in the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) segment of the business market.
It's a long road back for BlackBerry in Australia. While the company managed to maintain significant market share in some other major markets, like Great Britain, its share in Australia has all but vanished. In 2009, BlackBerrys were the second most popular range of smartphones in Australia, but recent studies show the BlackBerry platform barely holding on to single figures in local market share, in the shadow of iOS and Android with a combined share toal of 87%.