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Monday, 04 February 2013 11:06

Blackberry must make a comeback in Asia

Written by Nick Farrell



IDC warns company has a long way to go


The company formally known as RIM, needs to start its comeback in India and Indonesia if it is going to make any headway, according to analysts. Melissa Chau, senior research manager at technology research group IDC in Singapore said that Blackberry needs to quickly launch cheaper handsets to woo lower-end subscribers while restoring its tattered brand among the countries' status-conscious.

Blackberry has a significant core base is in India and Indonesia mostly by selling cheaper handsets and offering service packages as low as $2 a month. But its big problem is that its new Z10 model introduced last week, which operators in India expect to sell for around $750 is unlikely to interest that market.

Chau said that India and Indonesia among the largest markets but in terms of future smartphone growth, they're amongst the ones with the most potential.  Blackberry has made a mistake in that it created two devices that have been launched are not well aligned to the needs of these two markets. Indonesia was BlackBerry's biggest market outside the United States and Britain last year, while India was ninth.

In both countries, young people are drawn by low-cost handsets allowing them to communicate for free on the BlackBerry Messaging Service (BBM). Almost all carriers offer services for the device. Indonesia's XL Axiata Tbk PT, for example, saw a 45 percent jump in BlackBerry subscribers last financial year after offering packages for as little as 20 cents per day.

But the proliferation of cheap Android devices have diluted the BlackBerry's appeal and producing yet another expensive smartphone could kill off the company in one of its best markets.

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