BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM)’s Indian arm aims to treble its footprint in the country to 250 cities and outgrow the industry’s projected 40 per cent growth rate by the end of this fiscal.

“When I took over last December, we were present in 40 top cities, which rose to 80 by the end of March. We will take this to 250 locations by the end of this fiscal,” RIM India Managing Director Mr Sunil Dutt told PTI here.

Despite its Canadian parent RIM losing grip on the market of late to more agile players like Samsung and Apple, the company over the weekend launched BlackBerry Porsche P-9981 as part of its strategy to grow fast in this market.

This phone has been developed in association with Porsche Design and is priced at a whopping Rs 1.39 lakh.

RIM India has been garnering market share here with its pie going up by two notches last fiscal. As of March, 2012, RIM India had 15 per cent market share, up from 13 per cent in FY2010-11.

However in terms of the pecking order, it stands third behind Nokia and Samsung which have 38 and 28 per cent share, respectively as of March, 2012, according to data from industry research agency CyberMedia Research.

Mr Dutt, who joined RIM India last December from HP India, is confident of doing better this year with a target of outgrowing the industry growth which is projected to be 40 per cent. However, this is not even half the rate at which the smartphone segment grew in 2011, when it logged 87 per cent.

“The domestic smartphone market is growing at over 40 per cent this year, after clipping at 87 per cent last year. I am sure we will be able to grow much faster than the industry rate,” Mr Dutt said. He refused to put a number citing its parent company’s silent period.

Overall there are 18.3 million BlackBerry users in the country, out of which 90 per cent are BlackBerry Messenger users, he said.

(This article was published on June 24, 2012)
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