Forget advertising, RIM needs to buy shelf space

I pretty much never go a physical store in order to buy things (especially electronics), but it is important to remember that this is the way that most people actually do shop. RIM is planning on significantly increasing their advertising next quarter, but this won’t do any good unless it is easy to buy BlackBerrys once people get to the store.

Out anyways for some last minute Christmas shopping I peaked a look at the phones being sold on retail shelves, and found the BlackBerry selection to be pretty lacking.

At the Verizon store in the mall, there were strictly Android devices everywhere. Maybe three dumb phones near the door, and two iPhones hidden in the corner, and everything other model on display was running Android.

At Best Buy, again it was mostly Android phones while the iPhone had its two models in a little display off to the side. Representing BlackBerry was the new Torch slider, and both the 2011 and 2010 versions of the BlackBerry Curve. Meaning that BlackBerry was only represented on the low end.

While it is possible that I missed an all-touch Torch in the sea of similar looking Android phones, I can say with certainty that BlackBerry’s flagship model the Bold was not on the shelves in either of these stores. And that is a problem. Specifically a problem that television advertising alone will not help with. Without better representation by RIM it will be hard for the average consumer to walk out of one of these stores with anything besides an Android phone.