RIM brings uber-BlackBerry P'9981 to Canada

Looks like Canada is finally getting the recognition it deserves as a market with more than enough well-heeled residents to justify its own Porsche Design store.

The first Canadian location for the high-end European design marque that takes its pedigree from the legendary sports car manufacturer, will open in Toronto on June 14th.

Beyond giving Bloor Street shoppers access to an exclusive collection of sunglasses, footwear and even tobacco pipes (people still smoke these things??) Porsche Design will be the only place in Canada where you can pick up the most expensive BlackBerry ever created: the somewhat blandly-named P’9981.

If this sounds familiar it’s because RIM actually debuted the angular smartphone months ago to a much more discerning crowd in Dubai.

At the time, I was irked by the Canadian company’s decision to ignore its home town (loosely speaking) instead choosing to go half way around the world to introduce their new gadget. But in hindsight, maybe it was the right decision. Given that the Porsche Design P’9981 retails for a cool $2,000 $1,800 you can’t blame RIM for wanting to test the product with a group of people who think nothing of spending that kind of cash (and more) on a single night in a hotel.

I’m no more convinced that RIM can justify the price on the P’9981 now than I was then, but it seems like now is an especially bad time for the company to be putting the focus on a high-end BlackBerry when clearly, a much different strategy is needed.

But hey, if you have an extra two grand lying around, and you’re in Toronto on June 14th, why not drop by 77 Bloor St. West – it will be the one place you can pick up the BlackBerry that is a guaranteed collector’s item: It will either be the last model before the company springs back from one of the worst chapters in tech history, or it will be a flashy reminder of the company that once had the tech world by the horns.

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  1. Martin Jamieson

    Yes. This is the thing they were playing around with when they should have been paying more attention to current business last year and the year before.


  2. WhatsTheBigDeal

    Whats the big deal?

    Get any ol smartphone with a $50 voice&data plan on a 3 year contract and you’re already spending $50×36 = $1,800 bucks on a phone


  3. Phil

    Someone should tell RIM that it is Volley after Volley that wins the war, not Folly after Folly. I am buying a Samsung phone in the next week or two, kicking my BB Storm to the back of the shelf.


  4. Lex

    This phone is for the high end market and as such beyond what most will pay. The RIP comments, etc…with regards to RIM is simply…big business, big finance and media (the money people) is pissed with RIM for losing all their stock value and “will never…ever..” allow RIM to make a come back…period.

    To allow it to happen would show these “money people” had it wrong “twice” – first at the companies over valued price that needed a market correction and second after all the “RIP” predictions…and they just can not let this happen.

    RIM has over 75 million customers world wide, company value is over $14 billion, with 2 billion in cash reserved – this market is the business sector and is the most secure system in use today…period.

    I just recently purchased their Playbook (64G Unit) for under $300, and it work awesome in conjunction with my Blackberry Bold…

    RIM is an amazing company and it would be nice to have people look at the facts vs being led down the garden road like sheep…..it is a shame.

    The real shame is the money people is forcing this company to be sold to another compnay outside Canada, just like all of the other Tech companies that have lead the industry only later to be devalued to nothing and get sold for 10 cents on the dollar, and thousands of Canadian employees take their number on the line up of the unemployed…..

    Keep it up folks…


  5. Rona Gibbins

    Finally, some positive comments about RIM.

    Now when is somebody going to tell Consumer’s Reports the real selling price for the Blackberry Playbook tablet? Thay still showed the original list price in their January issue and again in the April or May issue. And they talk about being unbiased!

    If the current Playbook selling price of $200 for the 16 GB version or $250 from the 32 GB version were shown, Consumers Report could hardly avoid rating the Playbook as a BEST BUY alonside the USA souped up ebook readers. And how about the new Playbook keyboard at $100 for those who want a man-sized one to turm the Plabook into a Netbook. Or are these prices being offerred only in Canada?

    They might even include the Kobo as a Best Buy eBook Reader for Canadian customers due to its tie-in with the Cnadian book retailer Chapters!

    Common Canadians, cut out the negative comments about a Canadian supplier.


  6. mick

    I take offense to the pipe smoking remark…lots of avid pipe smokers left in this community and others!


    • Simon Cohen

      No offense meant – merely pointing out that this particular activity has faded so far from the mainstream, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone smoking a pipe in public. But clearly you folks do exist or P-D wouldn’t be marketing pipes!


  7. Ronald Gibbins

    And what wwill or would be the Service Providers offering prices with a contract for 1, 2, 3 or 5 years?


  8. Ron

    A more relalistic price comparison with the $1800 would be the No Contract selling prices for other models of Smart Phones.

    Some peope are willing to pay for prestige or being the first kid on the block. We are seing this now every day with the new superphones.


  9. Jonah

    I actually love the Blackberry phones and Playbook. I find them perfect for the business industry or those like myself who don’t need their phones bogged down with useless games and apps. Now if only RIM would make a phone the size of the 9900 but without touchscreen technology. I was going to get one of those until I found out it was touch screen and you couldn’t turn that function off.


    • Simon Cohen

      You don’t need to use the touchscreen if you don’t want to – all features can be accessed from the optical trackpad.


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