BlackBerry woos urban youth with new range - The New Indian Express

BlackBerry woos urban youth with new range

Published: 23rd November 2013 11:01 AM

Last Updated: 23rd November 2013 11:20 AM

Notwithstanding the formidable competition from domestic handset makers like Micromax and Celkon and multinationals like Samsung and Nokia, smartphone producer BlackBerry India said it will service rural customers on a need-basis. For now, its mainstay will continue to be educated urban youth and enterprise segment.

According to CyberMedia Research, domestic companies enjoy nearly 47 per cent market share in the Indian smartphone category. Samsung leads the pack with 33.9 per cent market share followed by Gurgaon-based Micromax at 19.7% and Bangalore-based Karbonn at 9.5%.

“We are clear on our customer segment and would like to focus on building a retail experience to customers and not retail coverage...We have evolved from being an enterprise-only company to focus on urban youth...We will expand in rural areas if there’s a consumer demand,” Ashish Gupta, Director- Carrier Sales, BlackBerry India told Express.

The company’s smartphone range was priced upwards `9,500 unlike home-grown companies, which start from `3,500. “We are not in the sub `4,000 range. As for smartphone sales, nearly 20 million units are sold every year and that’s a sizeable number to address,” he said.

Currently, BlackBerry India has presence in 75 cities and a retail network of more than 3,500 outlets. Besides, the company also retails through telecom operator-run outlets.

Meanwhile, to tap the youth segment, Gupta said BlackBerry has launched a slew of services including affordable data plans for OS device phones like Curve and Bold starting ` 129. And to engage youngsters to download BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), it introduced offers like a free cappuccino, branded swags like sling bags, t-shirts, sippers and key chains.

“For people looking at social messaging, the Curve series is a popular phone. And for those who want more features, there’s the Q5. We define our audience as consumers relating as - Blackberry people,’  who want to be socially connected and round the clock internet access to browse,” he said.

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