RIM Will Bring Budget BlackBerry to India, Indonesia
Research In Motion has figured out a way to shore up its finances a bit while it scrambles to bring its too-long-in-coming BlackBerry 10 OS to market later this year: Target emerging markets with a new budget BlackBerry.
And so, on Thursday, the company will debut in India the BlackBerry Curve 9220, a stripped-down 2G handset with a built-in FM radio, a two-megapixel camera, seven hours of talk time and a dedicated BlackBerry Messenger key. Price? 10,990 rupees, or $210 U.S.
For RIM, which in recent months has been discounting the prices of its smartphones in India to capture a larger share of the country’s growing smartphone market, the move seems a wise one. Targeting massive emerging markets like India with a smartphone specifically designed for them could do quite a bit to preserve RIM’s market share until it is finally able to bring its BlackBerry 10 devices to the rest of the world. CEO Thorsten Heins said as much during the company’s last earnings call, when he noted that the company planned to heavily subsidize a new line of low-end BlackBerry 7 phones. Presumably, the Curve 9220 is the first of those.
RIM plans to bring the 9220 to Indonesia — one of its most lucrative markets — in the coming weeks, as it extends the device’s reach and, hopefully, revenue along with it.