RIM invites leading Indian corporate houses to test BlackBerry 10
Research In Motion has invited leading Indian corporate houses to test its new BlackBerry 10 platform.
At least six technology heads of companies have said they were assessing the new platform, although only two confirmed that they planned to implement it.
“The BB 10 Platform certainly seems quite promising,” said Pravin Savant, chief information officer at the Indian arm of London-based advertising firm Lowe Lintas. “The interface is seamless and the availability of features like SureType (an app for easier typing on smartphones) makes it much more user friendly.”
RIM’s new operating system comes at a time when BlackBerry handsets are losing popularity in India, where their market share fell from 18% to 12% over the past one year, according to research firm Cybermedia Research.
RIM said it is confident that its new operating system will attract Indian enterprise users, including some top conglomerates and government departments.
“India is a prime market. In BB10, we have taken some of our existing features, like security for instance, to the next well so that it creates a great work-life balance,” said Scott Totzke, senior vice-president of BlackBerry Security at Research In Motion.
“We are offering a cross-platform and this will really help attract corporate users in the country. I met about 100 Indian CIO’s in the last three days.”
Francis Rajan, CIO at the Bangalore International Airport, said the airport’s email applications are run on BlackBerry “since it is the one of toughest when it comes to security”.
“As an airport, we need to look at technology from two sides. One from the passenger’s side, then from the operational side. Within the organisation, we still use the RIM platform, but outside we are looking to cater to every platform,” he said.
RIM does not disclose its percentage growth from different segment, but Totzke said in India its revenues are almost equally split between consumers and enterprises.
According to analysts, about 102 million mobile handsets were sold in India during the first six months of 2012, of which about 6 million were smartphones. Samsung had a 42% share of India’s smartphone market followed by Nokia with 19%.
BlackBerry’s brand equity in India is still quite strong compared to some of the larger markets. However, with rival firms such as Android and Apple penetrating well into both consumer and enterprise market in India, RIM will have to fight it out,” said Jayanth Kolla, founder and partner at telecom research firm Convergence Catalyst.