Tag: venezuela

BlackBerry Security Helps Drive Sales in Venezuela

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RIM are making some great headway in Venezuela, and BlackBerry is the top selling smartphone in Latin America. In Q3 of 2009, BlackBerry accounted for 37% of smartphone shipments to Latin America, according to IDC. This is up from 14% the year previous.

What seems to be driving the growth, particularly in Venezuela, is the popularity of BlackBerry Messenger and the platform’s security. According to Douglas Ochoa, the VP of communications at Telefonica Venezuela, “Venezuelans are, how can you say it, mistrustful. So they’re looking for a way to communicate, to be connected, in a very secure way, and I think Blackberry has done that.”

Since BlackBerry was first introduced in Venezuela, sales have increased more than 100% per trimester, and the device, which costs anywhere from VEB869 (US$200) to VEB6,579 (US$1,530), depending on the model, has become a status symbol.

BlackBerry and Twitter a huge success in Venezuela

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Bloomberg has a great article about the use of BlackBerrys and Twitter in Venezuela. The combination of a BlackBerry and Twitter, is apparently a crucial traffic tool in a country with shoddy road work and hectic driving conditions. Under a group called Trafico, Venezuelans flag potholes and vent frustrations about local infrastructure.

According to RIM, Venezuela’s per- capita use of smartphones outpaces Europe’s. Under Chavez’s currency controls, Venezuelans are allowed $400 annually for online purchases. It seems that they are spending this $400 on a new BlackBerry because it’s a status symbol.

If you’re interested in checking out the service that Venezuelans are using to Tweet traffic reports, try out GroupTweet.

The BlackBerry 8520 launches in more countries

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It seems RIM is positioning the BlackBerry 8520 as the global BlackBerry and are marketing it to countries all around the world. Its low price point makes it an ideal candidate for regions such as Europe, where phones are often free and customers are very sensitive to price.

The device has launched in Venezuela via Movistar, Malaysia, France via Boygues Telecom, Belgium and the Netherlands

Do you want the 8520 in your country? Sound off!

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!