updated 11:45 am EDT, Wed July 4, 2007
BlackBerry in China
Research in Motion has finally been given the green light to sell its iconic BlackBerry smartphone in China. The Canadian firm has overcome an eight-year delay and now has permission from the country's Ministry of Information Industry to sell one phone model, the 8700g, in local shops for the equivalent of $700. The device is already poised to be popular in the increasingly well-off nation and has already queued up 5,000 pre-orders from businesspeople and from expatriates working abroad who would already like to use the handset, RIM says.
The move could be crucial for the BlackBerry developer, which would gain access to a much larger market for its cellphones and potentially accelerate its already rapidly growing sales, which have been helped by the company's first home-oriented phones such as the Curve and the Pearl. The "push" e-mail that forms the cornerstone of BlackBerry technology has been live in China since 2006 but could not be used in the area without devices like the 8700g, which arrives by the end of August. [via Globe and Mail]