The Research in Motion (RIM) on Wednesday unveiled its new Curve 9220, labelling it as the "most affordable" BlackBerry smartphone.
As RIM faces cut-throat competition from the rivals around the world with smart-options, it seems to have perceived India as a potential market to work their way up to the fore.
The Curve 9220 is 2.44 inch TFT screen with 320X240 resolutions, 2 megapixel camera and a Rs 1, 450 mAh battery. But what seems to be a weakness in the era where people are looking for the 3G and 4G speed, is that the new curve model operates on the 2G network. The latest RIM smartphone does not support 3G service, which may not be well received by many Indian users.
The new Curve 9220 has hit the rack for sales from Wednesday, carrying a price tag of Rs 10,990, which is relatively higher than its already in sale Curve 8520.
The Curve 9220 is very unlikely to surprise the customers by its features. It looks like the RIM has not gone extra miles to rope in other smart-features in its latest model to lure the smartphone-buffs. Meanwhile, the price also seems to be not-so-attractive under "most affordable" category.
Probably, the BlackBerry designers are trying to work out the same formula to spike up the sales in India on the lines of Curve 8520.
The Curve 8520 was launched in India in 2009. Since then, it has recorded good sales in smartphone category. The selling point of the 8520 was its reachable price by the working folks and has access to the BlackBerry Messenger service, social networking sites and run on 2nd generation mobile-networks.
However, the advent of Android applications, iPhones, iPads and low-cost smartphones by other makers are the challenges RIM is stumbling to cope with.
The BlackBerry makers posted a net loss of $125 million for the three months ended March 3, 2012 compared to net income of $934 million in the same quarter of fiscal 2011.
In a deal to keep its business afloat in the mobile markets, the RIM early this month announced that it will be focusing on the CDMA technology. This was a move to kick open the other gates of the business and to push up its sales in India.
The RIM is no stranger in producing the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) phones. The BlackBerry's CDMA version of phone Curve 8530 failed to bring in sales for the makers. However, in an aggressive move to raise above all the odds, the RIM decided to re-launch its now-virtually-defunct model Curve 8530 CDMA handset.
Commenting on the same, RIM India Head of CDMA business Francis Jose said: "The CDMA technology has been known to provide great data experience and smartphones ensure that. Thus, smartphones are getting popular day by day, but a majority of these are on GSM technology."
"While CDMA mobile phones have been popular, there is a very little choice for consumers when it comes to CDMA smartphones. And that is why we are re-launching Curve 8530," he added.