BlackBerry affords to cut prices even further, says CEO

BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion (RIM), which recently cut prices of some of its smartphone devices by 26 percent (with the expectation of about 25-30% sales growth in Indian market); thinks that there is still room to further cut in prices.

Notably, on the Global arena, RIM, the Waterloo, Canada based mobile handset maker, is struggling to compete with Apple’s iPhone and the Android-based smartphones. RIM considers India as one of focus markets where lowering prices will help it reach more customers.

In contrast, leaders in the Indian smartphone market -Samsung and Nokia – had said instead of slashing prices; they will instead focus on broadening their product portfolios.

How the prices of RIM devices stand among the devices from Rivals:

Analysts tracking the sector said that the average price of a BlackBerry smartphone stood at Rs 21,000, which is extremely high compared to other brands in the market. Samsung, the leader in the smartphone segment with 17 models in the market, has six devices in the sub-Rs 10,000, seven in the Rs 10,000-20,000 bracket with only four models above Rs 20,000. RIM’s BlackBerry, on the other hand, has only one model – the hugely successful BlackBerry Curve model – in the sub-Rs 10,000 range (around Rs 9000).

According to market experts, there’s room to further lower prices as well as broaden its portfolio specifically in the Rs 10,000-15,000 range and also in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment, a segment currently populated by domestic vendors such as Micromax, Karbonn and Lava, which have already launched low-cost smartphones, for those customers who are just graduating to a smartphone from low-cost feature phones or basic phones.

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