2/19/2009 12:21:00 PM
RIM plans consumer push by adding new distributors
RIM will step up its strategy to bring BlackBerry devices into the consumer market in the coming months.
The strategy is expected to widen distribution, and sources claimed RIM was in discussions with distributors and was looking to increase deals with the likes of Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u.
The manufacturer currently distributes through networks, as well as Brightpoint and 20:20 Mobile.
Asked about future channel deals, Rory O’Neill, director of solutions and alliances at RIM, said: ‘We continue to innovate in all aspects of our business, including new markets pricing, new devices and new channels.’
Vodafone claimed recently that it has 60% of all of BlackBerry’s devices in
RIM is now looking to hook in other operators, starting with its first deal with 3 – the smallest of the main UK networks.
The Canadian manufacturer, which has seen its first signs of negative financial performance despite underlying growth, is one of many pinning its immediate future on the take-up of phone applications.
O’Neill said: ‘We fundamentally want to do for the consumer what we’ve done for enterprise customers. It’s the same thing – services geared to them, security, and all leveraged on our platform.’
RIM has started making dents to the consumer handset market in the US and Canada, where 60% of its device shipments were to consumers.
The manufacturer is now looking for a new burst in activity from its application developer community with even more apps.
Developers agree to a revenue share deal with RIM, where the developer picks up 80% of the revenue, and has RIM’s support team and channel relationships at hand.
There are estimated to be 21 million subscribers to RIM’s push service, as well as 125,000 developers producing applications for the manufacturer.
RIM also claimed it had over seven million downloads of the Facebook application on its devices in 2008. It also recently struck a deal with Orange to sell the Pearl on prepay for £150. Expectations are that the first sub-£100 prepay BlackBerry will be out well before Christmas, depending on operator subsidy.