CDMA loyalists have reason to cheer: Research in Motion (RIM), the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, is sprucing up its offerings and distribution system for CDMA. Frenny Bawa, managing director, RIM India, spoke with Hindustan Times on the importance of CDMA and the possibility of setting up a manufacturing facility in India. Excerpts:
It is GSM and not CDMA that is growing. So why is RIM going big in CDMA now?
Right now 20% of all Indian subscribers use CDMA. Of the total installed base of 670 billion consumers, 20% is a significant number. Also there is a new operator in India. It is a significant market and we have a pretty good roadmap going forward for the CDMA segment with highend phones.
CDMA customers won’t have to move to GSM for Blackberry. Effectively what we are doing is giving the 20% of the consumers more accessibility.
We have just signed with BrightPoint India to distribute CDMA devices. We launched broad distribution for GSM devices two years ago with Reddignton. It worked very well for us. We are following the same strategy for CDMA.
Is RIM going the Nokia way? You did come out with the best messenger and applications, but it seems somewhere BlackBerry has sunk into a comfort zone...
Let me correct you. BlackBerry market share is not declining. Our revenues went up 40% and we shipped record numbers beyond our competitors. There are definitely more entrants in the space, the market is growing and everybody is interested in smartphones. We have seen tremendous growth in India and have an exciting roadmap ahead for both products and services.
Any plans for a RIM manufacturing facility in India?
We have not ruled out setting up a manufacturing facility here but it is difficult to give a timeline. It makes sense to produce in India... and distribute to other RIM countries in Asia.