China too cheap for BlackBerry?

China MobileReuters is reporting that RIM’s September launch of the BlackBerry in China may be stymied by the highly price-conscious Chinese demographic. Reuters pointed to the fact that while the BlackBerry is currently retailing online for just 65 USD (roughly a fifth of its retail price in the United States), potential customers will likely balk at the 75 USD a month e-mail and data service provided by China Mobile.

Reuters also thinks that the BlackBerry’s contextually high price when compared to its RedBerry knock-off will turn many potential buyers away from getting a real BlackBerry. In 2005, China sold roughly 15 million so-called black-market phones, compared with 80 million handsets sold through licensed dealers, meaning an estimated 16% of handsets sold in China are either made by unlicensed companies or smuggled in. Not good numbers for RIM.

One thing’s for sure: in a country that doesn’t protect IP and is still learning to embrace capitalism, anything goes.

Comments [4 Responses]

BlackBerry gets green light for China | BlackBerry Cool
July 4th, 2007 at 8:39 am

[...] the BlackBerry 8700 that’s planned to drop before the end of the month on China Mobile. The price point is an issue for the Chinese, who might be used to paying a hell of a lot less for mobile services than we are. As for language, [...]

The Bazil SuperBlog » Blog Archive » BlackBerry gets green light for China
July 5th, 2007 at 2:56 am

[...] the BlackBerry 8700 that’s planned to drop before the end of the month on China Mobile. The price point is an issue for the Chinese, who might be used to paying a hell of a lot less for mobile services than we are. As for language, [...]

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