BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) has chalked out aggressive expansion
plan in India that has more than 800 million mobile customers. The industry is
expecting expansion of 3G services and 4G launch this year.
The smartphone major will be
increasing its footprint to 160 cities, besides launching new devices and
latest Operation System 10 soon. The expansion is primarily aimed at taking on
smartphone makers such as Samsung and Nokia in India.
India, smartphone shipments touched 10 million units in first eleven months of
calendar year 2011. November 2011 was only the third consecutive month when
smartphone shipments in India crossed 1 million units. Moreover, the month
witnessed the launch of as many as 23 smartphone models.
phone vendors will be looking at 3G market. Total 3G phone shipments touched
15.5 million in the first eleven months of CY 2011, with close to 224 models
launched by 26 vendors. In November 2011, 3G phone shipments contributed 8.9
percent of the total mobile device shipments in the country.
Shares of top 3 vendors in Smartphones in January-November 2011
Market Share ( percent of unit shipments)
The BlackBerry maker has a presence
in about 80 cities in the country now and is keen to tap the burgeoning demand
for smartphones here.
“In terms of expansion, we
would like to strengthen our existing presence. As far as new cities are
concerned we would like to double our presence this year and go to every city
which has a demand for smart phones,” RIM India Head Sunil Dutt told PTI.
RIM started its operations in India
in 2004 and has presence in over 80 cities across more than 4,000 retail points
of presence. It has three national distributors – Redington India, Brightpoint
India and Ingram.
RIM shipped about 14.1 million
BlackBerry smartphones and approximately 150,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets in
Q3 FY12. During the same period, its subscriber base grew to nearly 75 million,
up 35 per cent year-over-year. RIM does not provide country specific details.
The OS 10 would be available from
second half of 2012. The new operating system could be RIM’s answer to other
OS’ like Windows Phone, Android, iOS and Samsung’s Bada.
“BlackBerry devices continue to
be popular, especially the BlackBerry Messenger service. We would continue to
bring out newer devices. The broad areas of focus are innovation, building
brand association, effective go to market channels and customer
satisfaction,” Dutt said.
“We have about 50,000 apps but
not much has been spoken about it. Our focus is not on numbers but to bring
relevant apps and then taking it to consumers. The number of developers has
increased substantially to 26,000 developers now. So, there is a lot of focus
on innovation as well,” Dutt added.