Advait Vaidya, Head- Product Management- India Research In Motion during the launch of BlackBerry 9720 phone in Mumbai on Thursday. Photo:PTI/ Mitesh Bhuvad
In a bid to regain the market sharein India, Canadian handset-maker BlackBerry launched a new smartphone -- BlackBerry 9720 -- which will retail at Rs. 15,990.
The new handset, which will be available from the weekend, builds on the success of the BlackBerry 7 OS, BlackBerry India product management head Advait Vaidya said.
From being amongst the top three smartphone players in India some time ago, BlackBerry's market share has now tanked even below that of the Apple, a later entrant, and the smaller Indian companies which sell cheap Chinese-made handsets.
In terms of revenue too, BlackBerry, which was among the top three, has slipped to seventh spot in the country, as per CyberMedia Research.
In FY12, BlackBerry ranked below not just Samsung, Nokia and Micromax, but also Apple and HTC, in terms of revenue.
According to the report, BlackBerry had 3.1 % market share -- down from over 15 % in the previous years -- of the Rs. 31,330-crore handset market in the country.
Fitted with the new operating system 7.1, the device features a Qwerty keyboard, 2.8-inch touchscreen and track-pad for navigation, 5 megapixel camera, FM radio and new feature BBM Voice, which lets users chat over Wi-Fi for free.
Asked why BlackBerry is launching an OS7 powered device when it already has handsets powered by an advanced operating system, Vaidya said the company wants to offer devices across platforms and price points.
"We have a huge Qwerty-installed base and people want handsets across price points. This new device gives them better OS (than existing models like Curve) at affordable prices," he said.
Earlier this year, BlackBerry had launched its BB10 operating system and unveiled two devices -- Z10 and Q5.