Research in Motion Ltd must chart a tough course in its two key emerging markets of India and Indonesia: quickly launch cheaper handsets to woo lower-end subscribers while restoring its tattered brand among the countries' status-conscious.
The company, rebranding itself BlackBerry after its best-known smartphone, has won millions of followers in these two Asian countries, mostly by selling cheaper handsets and offering service packages as low as $2 a month. So it's unlikely that the Z10 model introduced last week, which operators in India expect to sell for $750, will appeal to the users it must reach if it is to build market share.
While the company does not break down its sales by country, IDC data shows that Indonesia was BlackBerry's biggest market outside the US and Britain last year, while India was ninth.
ABI Research said that BlackBerry accounted for nearly half of Indonesia's smartphone shipments in 2012 against a global share of just 5.3%. In India, the world's second-largest mobile phone market, BlackBerry ranks third after Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Nokia.