BlackBerry 10 coming to India 2 to 3 weeks after launch
RIM India managing director, Sunil Dutt, has told TOI that it will not go after market share with cheap phones but work to maintain the image of a premium brand and sell phones that have higher margins.
RIM is on a downward swing. Currently it has a share of just above 10% in Indian smartphone market? Going forward, how does RIM plan to address the market share issue?
Before I talk about the future plan, let me make a correction. Except America, we are growing everywhere. For example, we track the number of net subscribers that we have every quarter and in India we have seen that the numbers are positive.
Only in America we were losing subscribers because we did not have answer to technologies like LTE at that point of time.
So, how are we going to arrest the slide? Now, we have BB10. We have shown the (BB10) device to people across the world, we have talked to carriers, analysts and technologists. Telecom carriers are very excited about BB10.
How will RIM compete with affordable Android phones that sell for less than Rs 15,000 and are ‘good enough’ for most consumers?
Let me put it this way: We are not going after the market share. There are several segments of the market, which our competitors deem important, that we don’t address. For example, we are not present in the below Rs 10,000 segment. As a brand, sometimes you need to evaluate what is it that you are chasing and what is it that your customers are looking up to you for.
We can go and chase volumes but volumes might not be driving profit pool. At the same time, our consumers associate BlackBerry with aspirations. Our phones are ‘aspirational’ products. If you reduce prices too much, you may gain volumes but may lose the value your products have. We are not going to be meant for everyone. So, you have this addressable market where we are going to focus.
This is the part of the market where our brand is strong and where margins are.
When will we get BB10 devices in India and how many are likely to be there?
Globally, we will announce BB10 on January 30.
Within 2 or 3 weeks, I expect it to come to India. Initially, there will be one device, the flagship model with full touchscreen. It will be followed by another device soon.