BlackBerry developer sees 'strong demand', ME

BlackBerry Storm launches in UAE next week, developer sees 'huge potential', region.

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By  Tom Arnold Published  April 1, 2009

The developer of the BlackBerry phone has seen continuing strong demand for its products in the past three or four months, despite the global economic downturn, according to the director of sales in the Middle East and North Africa.

Khaled Kefel, of Research In Motion (RIM), made his comments ahead of the UAE launch of RIM’s latest product, the BlackBerry Storm 9500 smartphone.

Emirates Telecommunications (Etisalat) plans to launch the product next week.

Canadian company RIM, which commenced operations in the region in 2006, saw “huge potential” across the Middle East, said Kefel.

“I think the demand is still there despite the economic turn down that we are actually seeing," he told Arabian Business on Tuesday.

“It hasn’t slowed down our market and the potential is really huge across the Middle East.  It’s the tip of the iceberg in terms of penetration that we can see in terms of smartphones.”

Around 35 percent of RIM’s business is outside North America.

“Based on the previous product launches with RIM we are expecting a very high take up for the phone,” said Tamer El Toni, manager of product marketing, wireless solutions for Etisalat.


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