BlackBerry slashes smart phone prices by up to 26% in India

Telecom Lead India: Research In Motion (RIM), makers of
BlackBerry smartphones, has slashed prices of its handsets by up to 26 percent
in India. The price revision is aimed at increasing its presence in Indian
mobile market.

The reduction in prices of handsets comes after the
Canadian company cuts prices of its tablet PC PlayBook in December last year.

“RIM as a brand has moved from just an enterprise
device to as a more consumer device. Be it our services or the product, we have
seen a strong uptake by the youth and therefore, to get the devices into more
hands, we are cutting the prices,” said RIM India Managing Director Sunil

The move will help the smart phone company tap a wider
base of the large market in India.

While the price of entry-level model — Curve 8520 — has
been reduced by over 18 percent to Rs 8,999 from Rs 10,990, the price of Torch
9860 has been reduced by over 26 percent to Rs 21,990 from Rs 29,990 earlier.

The retail price of Curve 9380 and Curve 9360 has been
reduced to Rs 16,990 and Rs 18,990, respectively.

The handsets were earlier available for Rs 20,990 (Curve
9380) and Rs 19,990 (Curve 9360).

However, market analysts said mobile handsets are
generally available at a price lower than MRP.

These four handsets comprise a bulk of sales in the
country, it is 60 percent of the business from India.

Smartphone shipments touched 11.2 million units in
calendar year 2011, recording a year-on-year growth of 87 percent.

While Nokia was the leader in the smartphones segment
with 38 percent share, Samsung followed with 28 percent share in CY 2011. RIM
stood at third place with a 15 percent share.

RIM aims to further enhance its presence and leverage the
demand for its products.

“The focus is not just on reducing prices, but we
want to address a larger number of people and give them the overall experience
of BlackBerry. We will continue to focus on bringing locally relevant products,
services and applications to Indian consumers,” Dutt added.

In December 2011, RIM slashed price of PlayBook by more
than half to Rs 24,490 for the 64GB version under an offer from the original
price Rs 37,990. This was further reduced to Rs 19,990 earlier this month.

The price of the 16GB version was however raised
marginally to Rs 13,990 from Rs 13,490 (available under the offer). The device
was originally launched at Rs 27,990.

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