RIM launches in India low-cost phone for emerging markets

The BlackBerry Curve 9220 will soon be launched in some other emerging markets

Research In Motion will start selling in India from Thursday a low-cost smartphone with the BlackBerry 7 OS that will soon be offered in other emerging markets.

The 10,990 Indian rupees (US$210) BlackBerry Curve 9220 combines messaging capabilities with what RIM describes as social-centric features including Facebook and Twitter apps, and a dedicated BlackBerry Messenger key.

The BlackBerry 7.1 OS device has a built-in FM radio, and Wi-Fi connectivity that allows users to browse the Web without incurring expensive mobile data charges. RIM said the device has a long-lasting battery, giving users up to seven hours of talk time or up to 28 hours of music playback or FM radio listening on headphones.

"In our surveys we found that the youth wanted FM radio and longer battery life, among other features," said Varghese Thomas, director of corporate communications at RIM in India.

BlackBerry devices have found a large, new customer base in the Indian youth segment, said Naveen Mishra, senior manager of the telecoms practice at CyberMedia Research in a research note after the launch of the new BlackBerry smartphone. With the device, RIM goes mass market while staying relevant to enterprise users, he said.

Many applications important for the enterprise sector such as corporate email via the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, field-force automation tools and collaborative enterprise applications can be better enabled and managed securely with the new BlackBerry 7 OS, Mishra said.

India had 912 million mobile users at the end of February, but users in the country are very price-sensitive, and more likely to buy plain phones than smartphones, and sometimes from local manufacturers and Chinese makers.

Smartphones accounted for 6 percent of the 183 million Indian handset market last year, but year-on-year growth was high at 87 percent, according to CyberMedia Research. Nokia had a 38 percent share of the smartphone market, followed by Samsung with 28 percent, and RIM with 15 percent, it said.

RIM has been discounting the prices of some of its smartphones in India in the last month or so to get a larger share of the growing smartphone market.

To address newer markets in India, including smaller cities and towns, RIM is aiming to expand its presence from 80 cities currently to about 250 cities. It is also increasing the number of retail outlets where its phones are sold to 5,500 from the current 4,000.

RIM is also offering free apps worth 2,500 rupees from BlackBerry App World with the new device, as an introductory offer until June 30.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?