By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: The positioning of the BlackBerry as a consumer device, as opposed to a business device, is coming six months late, according to the marketing boss of one Australia’s largest mobile phone retailers.

Crazy John’s has today partnered with BlackBerry to target the youth and consumer market, with the BlackBerry Curve 8520 going on sale for RRP $299 on a prepaid bundle. Included in this offer is unlimited email and internet use. Crazy John’s head of marketing Matt Scriven said this was a compelling offer for the Gen Y audience.

“Twelve months unlimited email and internet: it’s a pretty compelling Christmas gift,” he said. “It’s a bit more expensive than your traditional $100/$150, but it’s a fantastic Christmas gift, we’re expecting it to do well in gifting stages.”

When we asked Scriven if the time was right to position the BlackBerry more at the general consumer, rather than its traditional business and professional base, he said the timing was actually overdue.

“It’s probably 6 months later than what you would have thought, but the issue that they [BlackBerry developer RIM] have to have, and what they’re doing, is positioning themselves as a consumer device rather than a business device and I think the pre-paid BlackBerry will definitely give them good headway into that space.”

Crazy John’s will be running an extensive media campaign to promote this offer in the lead up to Christmas. Scriven said that above the line activity will include television, radio and press advertisements; catalogues and experiential consumer interaction in partnership with RIM.

Once the BlackBerry is purchased for $299, consumers have the option of choosing between eight different prepaid offers. These range in price from $10 to $79, which each incorporating a different level of calls, texts and MMSes. Under all caps there is unlimited email, internet and instant messaging.