Tag: latin-america

BlackBerry Protect Now Available in Open Beta for North and Latin America

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BlackBerry Protect

RIM has made BlackBerry Protect an Open Beta project so everyone in North America and Latin America can get access to it. Protect is a free app that lets you wirelessly backup, restore and locate your BlackBerry if its lost or stolen. If you can’t find your device, Protect gives you access to features such as remote device wipe, remote lock, ‘Lost and Found’ screen, locate device on a map, remote activation of loud ringing and wireless device backup and restore.
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BlackBerry Partners Fund Merges to Focus on Mobile Investments WorldWide

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The BlackBerry Partners Fund has announced that its co-managers have merged to create a globally competitive investment manager focused exclusively on mobile investment opportunities (i.e. JLA Ventures, RBC Venture Partners and BlackBerry Partners Fund will all be managed under a merged entity). The merger provides a platform for the growth and global expansion of the BlackBerry Partners Fund brand.

This should be a great opportunity for companies around the world seeking investment. There are a lot of hot companies in mobile right now, and not all of them are in North America. Latin America, Indonesia, India and China are all booming right now with tech companies and it will be interesting to see the innovation that springs up.

More information available in the press release.

App World adds more Latin American countries – do you have it?

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App World 1.1

RIM sees Latin America as the next Western Europe and we’re going to be seeing a ton of updates from the region as BlackBerry expands into those countries.

Part of this plan involves the expansion of App World into markets such as Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and the Caribbean.

RIM’s Latin America and Caribbean penetration is moving at a fast pace and now includes Aruba, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Panama, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago.

Is App World available in your home country?

RIM executive talks about the BlackBerry Curve 8520 in India

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Earlier this month, the BlackBerry Curve 8520 launched in India on a prepaid model. According to RIM executive Frenny Bawa, the 8520 “was designed with India in mind. It’s the lowest price BlackBerry we have ever launched and [with social networking trends in mind], it is loaded with dedicated multimedia keys and a trackpad.”

As RIM continues to grow in developing markets with great potential such as Latin America, countries such as India are key to a global strategy. According to Bawa, “India adds an average of 10 million new mobile phone subscribers a month. This is significant and, of course, RIM wants to participate in this growth.”

BlackBerry devices are selling well in India and the market could prove as a testing bed for successful sales strategies in a developing market. In the past year, RIM has increased its partners in India to 8, and tripled staff.

“One of the most significant changes is that we have tweaked our strategy to better suit the way the Indian consumer buys a smartphone,” said Bawa. RIM has partnered with Reddington India, a national distributor, to put BlackBerry devices into retail outlets across nine Indian cities instead of making them available only via carriers.

“Since then, the availability of BlackBerrys in India has mushroomed significantly,” said Bawa. “It was very obvious that we didn’t have the right distribution strategy. When we entered the Indian market [about five years ago], we were exporting the North American business model, which focused more on corporate users. Today, however, 45 per cent of our global users are consumers.”

It should be interesting to see what sort of strategies are needed to sell devices in Latin America and Africa. While prepaid is a major driving force behind sales, the price point is key as well. Perhaps we’ll see a resurgence of older models in the developing world.

[Via]

App World arrives in Latin America – expect more to come

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App World has arrived in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Venezuela. It’s not clear whether this will be the same App World that we see here in North America, but chances are that the same applications will be distributed.

The only major difference is that users can choose to download BlackBerry App World in English or Spanish. A Portuguese version of the client interface is expected to be available later in 2009

Not only is this good for Latin America, but it should prove fruitful for the entire BlackBerry nation. App World does a great job of spreading smartphone application awareness, and teaching users that everyday tasks can be made much simpler with the use of a BlackBerry app. This smartphone lifestyle will promote more young Latin Americans to take up development as a career, and hopefully bring more bright minds to the BlackBerry platform.

This also reflects RIM’s strategy of making a tremendous push into Latin America as an emerging market. According to a recent interview with Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, the region could prove very profitable for RIM. “The thought that Latin America and Western Europe could someday be like North America in terms of market penetration gets us very, very excited,” says Balsillie. Let’s hope he’s right!

The BlackBerry Curve 8520 coming to Latin America and the Caribbean

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RIM has announced they plan to launch the BlackBerry Curve 8520 in countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

Details about carriers and pricing will come as the device launches in each country. The device is expected to launch in these regions in September so we’ll be able to update you then.

The 8520 is slated as a cheap, introductory smartphone, and it has been launching in less-developed nations on a pay-as-you-go plan. While this hasn’t been confirmed, it’s very likely that it will be pay-as-you-go in Latin America and the Caribbean as well.