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RIM to offer BB Storm in China

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 17 May 2010 22:47

RIM to offer BB Storm in China Research In Motion (RIM) has said it will begin selling the BlackBerry Storm via China Telecom, marking the first time the touchscreen device is available in the nation.
The smartphone will be available in 16 of the country's 31 provinces in the near future, although no date or price was revealed.

The move is seen as a way to compete with China Unicom, which is the current exclusive carrier of the Apple iPhone in the nation. The iPhone has seen such strong sales in China that Apple says sales have risen to over $1.3 billion.

The Storm was widely criticized when it launched in the U.S. in 2008 for its awful screen design and software glitches, and RIM rushed to release the Storm 2 in 2009.

RIM has made the older BlackBerry 8700 available to corporate customers in China since 2006.

At least one analyst thinks RIM's sales in China will be light at first, as it tries to build brand recognition: "Expectations for the BlackBerry should be kept in check, they’re coming from essentially zero market share. RIM is going to have to work very hard with their carrier partners to build the brand," says Matt Thornton, an analyst with Avian Securities, via BW.

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