BlackBerry searching for high & low in India
Research in Motion must chart a tough course in its two key emerging markets of India and Indonesia: Quickly launch cheaper handsets to woo lower-end subscribers while restoring its tattered brand among the countries’ status-conscious.
The company, which is rebranding itself BlackBerry after its best-known smartphone, has won millions of followers in these two Asian countries, mostly by selling cheaper handsets and offering service packages as low as $2 a month. So it’s unlikely that the Z10 model introduced last week, which operators in India expect to sell for around $750, will appeal to the users it must reach if it is to build market share.
“It’s clear that not only are India and Indonesia among the largest markets but in terms of future smartphone growth, they’re amongst the ones with the most potential,” said Melissa Chau, senior research manager at technology research group IDC in Singapore. “But the two devices that have been launched are not well aligned to the needs of these two markets.”
While the company does not break down its sales by country, data from IDC shows that Indonesia was BlackBerry’s biggest market outside the United States and Britain last year, while India was ninth.
ABI Research said that BlackBerry accounted for nearly half of Indonesia’s smartphone shipments in 2012. Compare this with a global share of just 5.3%. In India, the world’s second-largest mobile phone market, BlackBerry ranks third after Samsung Electronics and Nokia.
In both countries, young people are drawn by low-cost
Be the first to comment.