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Etisalat BlackBerry subscribers cross 100,000 in UAE

Company announces milestone at launch of the BlackBerry Storm smartphone in the country

There are now over 100,000 Etisalat BlackBerry subscribers in the United Arab Emirates.

Abdulla Hashim, VP of Business Solutions at Etisalat, announced the milestone at the launch of Research In Motion’s new BlackBerry Storm smartphone in the country. Hashim was keen to point out that it was “big achievement for the UAE” as it reflected high penetration of BlackBerry smartphones in relation to the country’s population size.

The upward trend is expected to continue with the launch of BlackBerry Storm, which comes with the world’s first ‘clickable’ touch-screen. The smartphone is now available in the UAE at a cost of AED 3,150, with one and two year instalment schemes available for as little as AED 72 per month.

In a move to build awareness and increase uptake, Etisalat is also offering its BlackBerry customers a three-month free trial promotion which offers unlimited access to internet, email and mobile applications.

The Storm was released in the United States in October last year but Etisalat was unable to release the model in the UAE until now as RIM was bound by exclusivity contracts with other operators.

With nearly 140 million smartphones shipped globally last year, RIM is confident that the market will see growth this year despite the financial downturn. The company enjoyed positive fourth quarter results, raking in $3.4 billion in revenue compared to $1.88 for the same quarter last year. The quarter also showed an additional 3.9 million subscribers – 50% higher than third quarter subscription figures.

RIM presently boasts about 25 million BlackBerry subscribers globally, with more than 33% of its business coming from outside North America.

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