Research In Motion (RIM) in association with Porsche Design unveiled the all new BlackBerry Porsche Design P'9981 smartphone at a price of INR 139,990 across select retail stores in India on Wednesday.
"The Porsche Design P'9981 smartphone from BlackBerry is a perfect culmination of style and functionality," Sunil Dutt, Managing Director for India at RIM said according to a press release.
"The exceptional look and feel of this modern smartphone inspires and we are pleased to be launching the P'9981 in India," he said.
One might wonder what unique features would make the new Blackberry device an expensive smartphone. Accordingly, the customer-made P'9981 comes with forged stainless steel frame besides a luxurious leather cover on its back.
Besides sporting a sculpted QWERTY keyboard, the device also provides users the option to key in a premium PIN that would recognise the owner of the device.
Powered by a 1.2 GHz Blackberry OS processor, the P'9981 comes with liquid graphics technology, 24-bit high resolution graphics plus 8 GB of inbuilt memory that's expandable to 40GB via a microSD card. Advanced sensors, NFC support and HD video capture are amongst the other features that the P'9981 includes.
RIM officials said that the smartphone will be sold through exclusive channels only."We will not be selling this through the traditional channels. The discerning customers can order their phones to begin with and later on, we will have select outlets like luxe watch and accessories showroom located on the high streets," RIM India managing director Sunil Dutt said prior to its launch.
Despite the Canadian-based smartphone manufacturer incurring huge losses in the face of stiff competition from smartphone rivals such as Samsung, Apple and even Nokia, RIM secured 15 percent in India's smartphone market as of March this year, up 2 percent from the previous year, the Press Trust of India cited a CyberMedia Research report as saying.
Around 150 smartphone models were launched in the domestic smartphone market with shipments reaching 11.2 million units as of last year.
"The domestic smartphone market is growing at over 40 per cent this year, after clipping at 87 per cent in 2011. I am sure that we will be able to grow much faster than the industry rate," Dutt said, according to India's biggest news agency.
A report in Globe and Mail says that the INR 139,990 phone is unlikely to have an impact on RIM's dwindling operating losses. It was the Porsche Design executives who rather initiated RIM to develop the smartphone.
Accordingly, only a small percent of the BlackBerry audience, mainly executives or celebrities, will be targeted.