Best Buy cuts BlackBerry Z10 price due to slumping sales

The Blackberry Z10 is the company's answer to

The Blackberry Z10 is the company's answer to the iPhone 5 with a 4.2-inch touch screen, adaptive Blackberry keyboard that learns your typing habits, and 4G LTE capability. (Credit: Blackberry)

Best Buy Co. has cut the price of BlackBerry's Z10 smartphone to $49.99 with a service contract, two weeks after the Canadian smartphone maker reported lackluster sales of the flagship touch-screen model.

The Z10 is available at that price with a two-year contract from Verizon Wireless or AT&T Inc., the Richfield, Minn.- based retailer said on its website. The device originally went on sale in the United States in March at $199.99, on par with Apple's iPhone.

Sales of the Z10 last quarter were almost 1 million units short of analysts' estimates, contributing to a surprise loss for BlackBerry. The company is now increasingly dependent on the newer Q10 phone, which features a physical keyboard and appeals to its existing customer base. BlackBerry, which has steadily lost market share to Apple and other rivals, accounted for less than 3 percent of global smartphone sales last quarter, according to research firm IDC.

BlackBerry shares fell 1 percent to $9.24 at the close in New York. The stock has dropped 22 percent this year.

The Best Buy price cut was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.

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