'Strong demand' for Blackberry devices in Mid East

Strongest quarter outside North America for RIM with 37% of revenue now generated outside RIM's home territory

Tags: CanadaEtisalat International - UAESaudi ArabiaUnited Arab Emirates
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'Strong demand' for Blackberry devices in Mid East RIM CEO Jim Balsillie says operator-led promotions helped to drive sales of Blackberry devices in the UAE.
By  George Bevir Published  December 20, 2009

Blackberry manufacturer RIM says that its strategy of pushing into expanding markets is paying off, with "strong demand" from the Middle East contributing to a record number of the firm's smartphones being shipped during the third quarter of the year.

RIM did not provide country-by-country breakdown of sales figures with its third quarter results, but the Canada-based manufacturer said it recorded its strongest ever quarter outside North America, with 37% of revenue now generated outside RIM's home territory.

"There continues to be strong demand for Blackberry smartphones in the Middle East," CEO Jim Balsillie said. "In Saudi Arabia, the Curve 8520 was launched across multiple carriers and when coupled with an expanded retail presence and the introduction of prepaid service on Saudi Telecom, the Blackberry subscriber account base in the region grew substantially," he said.

Balsillie described RIM's third quarter results as "strong", and he said the firm's performance reflected the strength of the manufacturer's "diversified product portfolio as well as the success of our efforts to expand into broader customer segments and new geographies", with a record 10 million devices shipped globally during the third quarter.

In the UAE, Balsillie said there had been a "significant increase in sell-through" following the launch of the 8520 and the introduction of promotions on some Blackberry devices, with three months free Blackberry internet service (BIS) helping to boost sales.

Meanwhile, Etisalat today announced that it will stock RIM's latest device, the HSDPA-enabled BlackBerry Bold 9700 device, which will be sold for AED2700 (US$735).

3317 days ago
Mohammed Ali

RIM has been very slow to enter emerging markets and realize the consumer potential. Even now there are few apps available in KSA. However, we're still better off than the UAE where BBs and service are still expensive. 2700AED for a 9700? We get them in Saudi via the grey market for 2500AED. I do pity BB users in the UAE!

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