Struggling RIM Appeals to Southeast Asia to Grow Its User Base

by Istvan Fekete on January 2, 2013

Blackberry 10Once the most valuable company in Canada, RIM is struggling to compete with the growing number of touchscreen alternatives such as Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S III. And the market statistics aren’t looking good, as some former BlackBerry users have dumped their “old phone” in order to enjoy the benefits of the iOS or Android operating systems and the tech specs of the high-end smartphones.

As a result, RIM failed to maintain its grip on the North American mobile market, so it had to come up with a solution to fend off another failed launch, which it could no longer afford. To shake up its user base and maintain its growth, the once shining Canadian smartphone manufacturer turned to Southeast Asia.
The region is a reminder of RIM’s glory days, with Indonesia becoming the BlackBerry maker’s biggest market in Southeast Asia — the Philippines ranks no. 2, and Thailand and Malaysia, no. 3.

Yet Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populated country, seems to be the strategic point to save the launch of BlackBerry 10 and the new line of BlackBerry smartphones. A possible explanation comes from Melissa Chau, a technology analyst at IDC, a Singapore-based market research company, who said that one of the unique characteristics of this region is that buying low-priced smartphones could be the only reasonable option for future smartphone owners.

And the strategy works fine, as the Nigerian launch results show. The BlackBerry maker has proven to be successful in emerging markets and has successfully marketed its line of smartphones, as BlackBerry become the No. 1 smartphone in Nigeria.

Now, looking at the Southeast Asian market, the Canadian smartphone manufacturer sees the same opportunity, with Indonesia a priority in RIM’s future plans.

Meanwhile, North Americans are also eager to get their hands on the upcoming device with the blogosphere being hot with image leaks of the next-generation BlackBerry. The images show both from back and front views of the new BlackBerry 10 devices. The most recent information leak comes from FCC, revealing some internal specs of the device. From what we’ve learned, the mobile handset looks to be a BlackBerry Z10 and seems to feature an LTE-compatible baseband with Telus/Bell/Rogers-compatible frequencies, but it is expected to sport a separate 3G-based AWS version for Mobilicity, T-Mobile and Wind.

Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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