updated 04:10 pm EST, Tue December 8, 2009
RIM to bring BlackBerry phones to China
BlackBerry handset maker RIM on Tuesday announced it will begin producing special versions of its handsets for sale in China under provider China Mobile. This means RIM will have to make its handsets compatible with China's unique TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE networks while also breaking into a market that has not so far seen any of the Canadian company's products. At the same time, BlackBerry Internet Service and smartphones will be marketed towards small and medium sized businesses as well as pro individuals.
While BlackBerry devices were introduced in China back in 2006, they were only sold to large corporations, much like the company's start in its home market. The expansion of sales is believed to be because RIM cannot afford to ignore the world's largest cellphone market as it faces new competition in its existing markets from the likes of the iPhone and countless Android-powered devices.
The BlackBerry Internet Service is said to launch under China Mobile sometime next year. The service will bring with it access to social network sites, e-mail and instant messaging programs. When the BlackBerry phones become available for small and medium businesses in China has not been announced.