9/1/2010 11:41:00 AM
Distributors hit by Middle East freeze
Distributors operating in the UK have reportedly been hit by the fallout between RIM, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Distributors and traders are currently holding large quantities of stock as a result of recent events in the two countries, sources have indicated.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are expected to ban BlackBerry services such as BBM and secure email exchange due to security concerns.
The ban is expected to take effect from 11 October this year in the UAE unless a resolution is reached between the Canadian manufacturer and the regulators.
One source said: ‘Some distributors in the UK will be looking to get rid of stock that they have previously bought on a forecast. The problem for them will be that not many people will be interested in buying the stock at the moment because no one knows what is going on out there.’
Sources suggest there are as many as 700,000 BlackBerry users in the Gulf States.
Several other factors are also affecting distributors’ ability to sell BlackBerry handsets, including the release of several new phones and the Euro and Pound exchange rate.
The release of the BlackBerry Torch, the new BlackBerry Pearl and Curve 3G has led to a drop in interest in some of the older handsets offered by the manufacturer, sources claimed.
Another source suggested that distributors in the UK were also losing interest in BlackBerry phones. He said: ‘People have stopped buying BlackBerry handsets because of what is going on in the Middle East at the moment as they knew there was going to be a price issue.’