Blackberry boasts Middle East sales

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Research in Motion (RIM), the makers of Blackberry mobiles, announced they are seeing a positive growth in handsets sales in the Middle East, despite a gloomy global outlook for the top Canadian brand.

Last week, RIM reported a quarterly loss of $125 million while registering a 21% decline in Q1, shipping just 11.1 million smartphones.

However, in the Middle East, RIM increased its handset shipments by 119% in last 12 months, and outsold other major brands. On the other hand, plummeting sales in the US means the share of global smartphone market slid to 8.2% in the fourth quarter.

“If you look at the Middle East, we have grown by 120% over the last year. The story here was very good. The launch of all the Blackberry 7 devices was very, very successful,” said Sandeep Saighal, managing director for RIM in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the company cleared out that this data was based on analysis by the research firm GFK and is ‘an accurate snapshot’.
Saighal is expecting the same growth in sales during the next 12 months. “In a lot of territories outside of the US, there has been a big update. I expect the growth to continue at the same place.” he said.

Cheaper Rate Smartphones:

According to the RIM, the main reason behind the rise in sales is the availability of Blackberry at a cheaper rate throughout the Middle East by mobile operators.

However, the overall financial performance of RIM has suffered a lot with net loss quarter was $125 million, or 24 cents a share, compared to the last year’s profit of $934 million. The Waterloo-based company is pinning its hopes on Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions.

Meanwhile, Sandeep Saighal, managing director of RIM Middle East has lashed out at media reports that suggested the company is going to abandon the consumer market.

“This is a bit of misinterpretation. There’s a bit of refocus on the enterprise business. But will we will continue to be in the consumer business whether it’s globally or in the Middle East.”

Source: The National, businessweek

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