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Summary:

Blackberry’s sleek and chic device, the Pearl, has already helped Canadian communications hardware maker Research In Motion (RIM) rack up some strong sales and profits in North America. And by the looks of it, the device is going to be a hit in the overseas markets […]

Blackberry’s sleek and chic device, the Pearl, has already helped Canadian communications hardware maker Research In Motion (RIM) rack up some strong sales and profits in North America.

pearl.jpgAnd by the looks of it, the device is going to be a hit in the overseas markets as well.

While traveling from San Francisco to New Delhi, I found many Europeans – folks who normally opt for Nokia smart phones – using their Blackberry Pearl to get a grip on their email. A few days later, I saw a lot of Indian yuppie types getting thumbing on their Blackberry Pearls.

The phone form factor and SureType input technology apparently is finding favor with non-U.S. users. Even carriers – realizing that Blackberry is a good way to boost their APRU – are pushing the device pretty hard here in India. The device costs a whopping $570 and a monthly plan goes for around $20.

Bharti Airtel, which is the largest GSM carrier, had an exclusive on this device for a while, but the soon-to-be-Vodafone property Hutch Essar has also gotten access to this device. The third largest GSM network is promoting it very very and I repeat very heavily on the airwaves. Blackberry makes perfect sense in the Indian milieu.

If these promotions work, we might find a nice surprise in RIM’s quarterly earnings soon enough. The email and instant messaging capabilities along with phone features are enough to meet the basic post-Internet communication needs without being dependent on a PC.

RIM’s timing with the device is spot on. According to some reports, the sales of high-end phones are beginning to pick up in urban markets, mostly driven by younger buyers’ desire to opt for branded phones. In addition, more Indian executives are traveling overseas and are finding a need to stay connected.

  1. I know 4 people who got Blackberry Pearls within the last month. They are loving the trackball.

    I personally have the Samsung Blackjack and am convinced that it is the best phone out right now.

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  2. Hi,

    Saw & used a pearl and it is lovely but it is very delicate. Few of my friends who own an older blackberry refused to shift because of the same reason. They say that their older devices have fallen down so many times and survived to tell the tale but pearl will not endure a single fall.

    -Rajan

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  3. ..hah OM whats an Indian yuppie type?

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  4. Ash, that would be the puppie type. you know upwardly mobile punjabi professional, working for one of the banks or MNCs etc, you can fill in the rest… ;-)

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  5. wonder if blackberry pearl is stealing away potential iPhone (the Apple one) customers — similiar target market (consumer willing to spend a couple hundred bucks for high-end gadget)
    Once the iPhone makes it to market in June Blackberry may well announce a Pearl II for the holiday seasons which may hold off some iPhone buyers until they can compare the iPhone and Pearl II.
    IMHO the tactile feedback provided by Blackberry and Treo devices is critical for most medium-to-heavy email users.

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