BlackBerry India head Sunil Dutt steps down

Telecom Lead Asia: BlackBerry India’s managing director Sunil Dutt has stepped down.

The smartphone major has just launched BlackBerry Z10 aiming for a higher market share in India amid aggressive marketing of Apple and Samsung.

Recently, media reports said Apple has dislodged BlackBerry and wrested revenue market share from No. 1 Samsung in the last quarter of 2012.

IDC’s Asia-Pacific Mobile Phone Tracker for October-December 2012 will show that Apple achieved a value market share of 15.6 percent compared with 3.9 percent in the preceding quarter.

In value terms, Apple was behind Samsung’s 38.8 percent share, but ahead of BlackBerry’s 6 percent, while its volume grew more than three times, putting the iPhone at fifth spot behind Samsung, Micromax, Sony and Nokia.

Two days back, Samsung announced that Nokia and Airtel veteran Vineet Taneja will be the new country head of Samsung India’s Mobile & Digital Imaging Business.

Samsung is India’s #1 mobile phone maker by market share in 2012.

Taneja replaces Ranjit Yadav, who quit in September last year to join Tata Motors.

Sunil Dutt joined BlackBerry in December 2011. Before BlackBerry, Sunil Dutt worked with Nokia, Samsung and HP. There are industry speculations that Apple may be looking for an India head and Sunil Dutt is one of the suitable candidates.

He said recently that BlackBerry does not want to sell smartphones in the Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000 range. In fact, this is one of the fast moving smartphone price ranges.

Rick Costanzo to head BlackBerry India as interim chief

In the interim, Rick Costanzo, executive vice president for Global Sales, will take over the leadership of the management team in India. BlackBerry is looking for a new sales lead in India.

India is an important market for BlackBerry and its aim is to continue to build on recent momentum with the launch of BlackBerry 10. Though India is a focus market for BlackBerry, CyberMedia Research’s forthcoming report on mobile phone is likely to say Apple had shipments worth Rs 1,142.8 crore in the October-December 2012 quarter into India, more than three times that of brands such as BlackBerry and Nokia.

BlackBerry 10 has seen unexpectedly good demand despite the steep price tag of Rs 43,450 and it seems to be a good foundation for the upcoming Q10—Qwerty keyboard BlackBerry 10 smartphone and four other smart phones with yet unknown features and price points that are expected later this year.

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