RIM cuts prices of some BlackBerry models in India

NEW DELHI Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:27pm IST

1 of 4. A salesman displays a Blackberry mobile phone to customers next to dummy handsets at a shop in Jammu October 13, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Mukesh Gupta/Files

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion RIM.TO has cut prices of some of its smartphone models in India by up to 27 percent, in a move to boost sales in the world's second-biggest mobile phone market.

India is one of the few growing markets for RIM RIMM.O, which is facing tough competition from Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and high-end devices on Google Inc's (GOOG.O) Android platform used by a range of handsetmakers, including Samsung Electronics (005930.KS).

RIM said on Wednesday it cut prices of four of its smartphone models, including the entry-level Curve 8520, which is its best-selling smartphone model in India.

Sunil Dutt, managing director for RIM's Indian operations, said the four models accounted for about 60 percent of the company's sales in India, where BlackBerry devices have gained popularity among the youth.

The price cuts are aimed at making the phones "more accessible to a wider number of consumers in the country", Dutt said in a phone interview.

RIM does not disclose country-specific shipment figures. India's CyberMedia Research estimates RIM ranked third last year with a 15 percent share of the country's smartphone market, trailing Nokia's (NOK1V.HE) 38 percent market share and Samsung's 28 percent.

Smartphones currently account for just over 6 percent of total handset sales in India, a market which is extremely price sensitive and most use their phones only for voice calls and text message. But the segment grew 87 percent last year to 11.2 million phones shipped, according to CyberMedia.

RIM cut the maximum retail price of the Curve 8520 model by 18 percent to 8,999 rupees and that of Torch 9860 model by 26.7 percent to 21,990 rupees. The other two models whose prices were cut are Curve 9360 and Curve 9380.

(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Rajesh Pandathil)

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