Tag: emerging-markets

India adds 7.7 million GSM customers in October (BlackBerry Bytes)

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IndiaAnyone who wonders why RIM’s recent troubles bringing BlackBerrys to India were such a big deal need only look at these numbers to understand. According to the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), India’s GSM networks added a record breaking 7.7 million net customers in October, bringing India’s total GSM base to 241.4 million. These figures, however, do not include the GSM subscriber base from Reliance Communications - which although a predominantly CDMA operator has a growing GSM base as well. Adding Reliance Communications’ estimated 9.2 million GSM subscribers would bring India’s total base to over 250 million GSM customers.

250 million GSM subscribers - just think about that number for a second. That’s almost the population of the United States. How much would it improve RIM’s bottom line to grab even a small percentage of that number?

|via CN|

RIM considering Chinese factory

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ChinaDuring the Hong Kong BlackBerry Bold launch party, RIM’s Pacific-Asia VP Norm Lo made a fairly hefty insinuation that a Chinese BlackBerry factory was in the works. Rollouts in China have experienced their fair share of difficulties in the past, and the advent of their TD-SCDMA standard could further compound issues, but RIM remains optimistic about their future in the country. And hey, why shouldn’t they be? There is a lot of opportunity to be had in China despite all the technological, bureaucratic and cultural challenges.

(via cellular-news)

Three BlackBerrys come to Ghana

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RIM announced today the launch of their three flagship devices by MTN Ghana. When it comes to maiden national launches, it’s surprisingly rare to see all three (the BlackBerry 8800, 8100 and 8300) all brought together at once, which is too bad, since the three cover the whole range of customer demand really nicely. RIM realizes that Africa is a promising emerging market, and possibly second only to China. Considering the game in China is now entirely in the carrier’s hands and ostensibly slowing, it makes sense that BlackBerry starts setting its sights on the next new market by making aggressive releases like this one.

Bluetooth-enabled handsets to top 500 million

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A recent report from IMS Research is forcasting clear skies for Bluetooth technology this year, claiming 500 million Bluetooth-capable devices will be shipped this year. Stereo bluetooth is still in its infant stages, but making progress. A2DP compatibility on phones has been a considerable bottleneck for market penetration, but so has style. The Motorokr S9 is a good example of how stereo Bluetooth design is becoming more mainstream, and after swinging by a Telus store last night, I found the even-sweeter BTS-500 (just came out last week, not on their site yet). BlackBerrys have been toting Bluetooth for a hell of a long time, but emerging markets with high demand for low-cost, low-feature handsets could potentially stunt Bluetooth growth. If you’re in the market for some Bluetooth headsets, take a look over here.

Etisalat releases BlackBerry 8800

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The announcement made not too long ago has followed through, and the BlackBerry 8800 is now available in stores across the United Arab Emirates. To kick off the 8800, Etisalat is offering their first month of service free for anyone who signs up before July 15. Not a bad deal at all. For any readers in the area, you can pick up your new BlackBerrys at Sharaf DG, CellUCom, i2, Radio Shack, Plug Ins, Alltronix, Jumbo Electronics, Telefonika, Jacky’s and Carrefour. Word has it Etisalat just moved into Egypt since last quarter and have made a million subscribers already. Maybe the Middle East is the next big emerging market…?

India to gain 6-7 million new subscribers per month

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IndiaIt’s possible that Apple might match India’s sale of a million phones in a week, but something tells me they won’t be able to pull off 6 million each month for the next little while. Call me crazy. By 3 years from now, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is hoping to nail the 500 million mark, after maintaining a steady 6 to 7 million subscriber growth while the country gets hooked up. For those of you not so hot with the math, that’s half of a billion, and about 45% market penetration. China’s great for RIM, and there’s sure to be some opportunities in Africa, but it’s hard to ignore numbers like these. The BlackBerry 8300 is in India, which is a start, but they’re going to have to keep pumping the newer lines out there in order to really cash in on the explosion.

Africa next on RIM’s hit list?

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African CellFollowing the earlier topic of Canadian data rates, Don Morisson continued talking with the Financial Post about the emerging market in Africa. (For anyone who hasn’t entered our weekly contest yet, this is a subtle hint.) While progress in China’s starting to ramp up, RIM is looking to start moving harder into Eastern Europe before significant headway is made in Africa. Despite the economic situation in Africa being vastly different from the usual industrialized markets that RIM usually guns for, Morisson says their enterprise-first approach is going to stick.
“Is there an attractive market that’s beyond the enterprise market? Absolutely.”

Weekly Contest - The Next Emerging Market

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With RIM announcing a Chinese push, and starting to get their feet wet in India, we can see that the wireless industry is starting to realize just how many people still don’t have cell phones. So while China and India are some of the clear-cut hotspots right now, what remains on the horizon for the international BlackBerry market? Tell us which country is the next big thing for BlackBerry, and why this new spot will incubate BlackBerry growth so well.

Last week’s contest was a bit of a dud, so here’s hoping this week’s tickles your fancy a bit more. Since we still got ‘em kicking around, this week’s winners will win Canadian, American and iBerry themes for your BlackBerry.

High turnover in emerging wireless markets

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While we might be looking to emerging markets in China, India and Africa as the reason why so many people are packing mobiles these days, the market may not be as much of a wireless promised land as they had been made out to be. Strategy Analytics has reported today that the global subscriber churn rate has risen for the ninth quarter in a row to 2.5% in Q1 2007. North America and Europe are pretty stable on this front, but Reliance disconnected 6 million customers last quarter, and Malaysian carriers had to disconnect about 20% of their subscribers in an effort to register all accounts. The big reason for such drastic measures is the prepaid nature of mobile business in these markets.

David Kerr, Vice President, Global Wireless Practice, adds, “The increase in churn highlights the challenge of managing subscriber growth in many prepaid-centric emerging markets. In these markets, where new connections involve simply placing a new SIM card into one’s existing handset, competitive activity is having an increasingly detrimental impact on subscriber behavior and churn levels.”

As much as we might moan about being locked into plans for years on end, it certainly makes for a more stable industry.




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