New BlackBerry phone prices already slashed: WSJ

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Key wireless providers of BlackBerry's new smartphone have already begun selling the devices at steep discounts, only months after they first went on sale.

In a new sign of bad news for the beleaguered smartphone maker, the BlackBerry Z10 is now selling for $99 at AT&T and Verizon, with Amazon selling it at $49 — a deep cut from the phone's original price of $199.

"Like any other smartphone maker, we, along with our partners, make adjustments as we roll out new elements of the product portfolio. And with the recent arrival of our flagship BlackBerry Q10 smartphone, now is the right time to adjust the price for the BlackBerry Z10 all touch device," Frank Boulben, BlackBerry's CMO, told CNBC.

"As we have said, we will be introducing several BlackBerry 10 devices before the end of our fiscal year. It's part of life cycle management to tier the pricing for current devices to make room for the next ones. This is just one element of our marketing strategy that will ensure we remain aggressive in a very competitive market landscape."

The price changes, which were originally reported by the Wall Street Journal, raises new questions about BlackBerry's efforts to snatch back lost market share from Apple iPhone, Samsung's Galaxy phones, and other devices powered by Google's Android operating system. (Read the full article. Subscription required.)

The new BlackBerry devices were seen as make-or-break for the company, yet have not helped it stanch lost market share of shore up its balance sheet. Last week, CEO Thorsten Heins said BlackBerry needed more time to make its new strategy work.