Business | Telecoms

Dubai among six cities chosen to launch BlackBerry 10 OS

RIM says new phones and the operating system are going to be a game changer

  • By Naushad K. Cherrayil; Staff Reporter
  • Published: 17:53 December 30, 2012
  • Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai is one of the six cities in the world to have the privilege of launching Research In Motion’s new operating system — BlackBerry 10 — and two BlackBerry 10 smartphones on January 30.

“The other five cities are New York, Toronto, London, Paris and Johannesburg,” Sandeep Saihgal, Managing Director of RIM Middle East, told Gulf News.

He said the new phones and the operating system are going to be a game changer and more details on the smartphones and their availability will be announced at the event to be held at Armani Hotel at Burj Khalifa,” he said.

According to industry experts, RIM will find it tough to claw its way back but they still have a strong loyal base. Many consider the new OS and phones to be the Canadian firm’s final attempt to regain its lost market share globally.

“People will take time to get used to the new platform. BB10 has a totally new user interface and it is complicated. It is completely different from the BB7,” Hamza Saleem, senior research analyst at IDC, told Gulf News.

“I feel BB7 is more user friendly than BB10. There is no replacement for the BlackBerry messenger and email integration services when compared to other operating systems. BlackBerry continues to be the gold standard for security,” he said.

BlackBerry is still the number two smartphone maker in the UAE after Samsung.

Market share

As of third quarter, RIM had a market share of 31 per cent in the UAE compared to 35 per cent in the second quarter of this year.

“RIM will lose further market share in the fourth quarter as there are no new devices available in the market,” Saleem said.

Annette Zimmermann, Principal Analyst at Gartner Deutschland, said RIM is launching its new operating system at the wrong time.

Even launching BBM 10 in the first quarter of next year “will not save RIM as it very late to the market. We are doubtful whether they will stay strong in the Middle East and Africa,” she added. “RIM, once very strong in the Middle East is losing its market share. But it is gaining market share in Africa. People in Africa still like the qwerty keyboard of BlackBerry despite the world going for touch screens,” she said.

RIM had a market share of 17.2 per cent in the Middle East and Africa.

According to IDC, Blackberry will attain a market share of 4.7 per cent this year globally and is expected to fall to 4.1 per cent in 2016.

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