8/20/2008 11:48:00 AM
3 partners RIM for first time to stock the BlackBerry Bold
3 is partnering with RIM for the first time to stock the BlackBerry Bold, which follows 3’s first Samsung handset in its range this month.
3 now has a full range of the major handset brands in its portfolio. The Bold will bring the BlackBerry brand, which is most closely associated with mobile email, to 3, as the operator is looking to break into the business market and bring more data services to its network.
The agreement also gives RIM a full range of operators, as 3 was previously the only major network on which BlackBerrys were not available. It is understood that the BlackBerry Bold will be available on 3 from this autumn.
Both RIM and Samsung are aggressively hunting UK market share, and will look at 3 as another route to increasing their overall sales.
The L770 is the first Samsung handset to be stocked in 3 stores this month. The operator is expected to sell some of Samsung’s more high-profile devices later this year, such as the Soul and Tocco.
The partnership has marked the end of a controversial pact in which Samsung did not partner 3, and LG handsets were not in Vodafone’s handset range.
Mobile revealed in 2007 that both agreements had been scrapped.
Mark Mitchinson, Samsung UK VP, told Mobile: ‘The fact that 3 will be ranging our phones is massive for us. We expect the agreement to be a big boost to our already increasing market share.’
The other major networks have stocked BlackBerry devices since 2004, when Orange became the fourth major mobile operator to partner RIM.