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RIM looks to expand Indian footprint

RIM is looking to expand its BlackBerry sales presence in India to 160 cities, more than doubling its current retail footprint.

Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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According to the Times of India, the Canadian-based manufacturer will also be bringing out a slew of new devices onto the market.

Although RIM has struggled in established markets in recent times, it is still a force to be reckoned with in emerging markets. India is no exception as RIM looks to tap into a rapidly growing demand for smartphones.

“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 smartphones,” RIM India Head Sunil Dutt said.

India will also be among the markets to receive BlackBerry’s next operating systems (OS 10) when it rolls out in the second half of this year.

The popularity of BlackBerry devices in emerging markets is largely down to the fact that they offer relatively cheap, unlimited data and its nascent instant messaging service BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).

Dutt acknowledged this, adding that the company “would continue to bring out newer devices” and that the broad areas of focus are innovation, building brand association, effective go-to market channels and customer satisfaction,”

RIM has been operational in India since 2004 and in 2010 allowed Indian authorities to monitor its services after they expressed security concerns.

In early 2011, however, it refused to give them access to its corporate email service.

RIM reportedly increased its subscriber base to 75-million in the third financial quarter of last year, representing a 35% year-on-year growth.