BlackBerry starts Z10 sales in India

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 February, 2013, 3:16am

BlackBerry began selling the Z10 handset in India yesterday, before the phone's introduction in the United States.

The device would cost 43,490 rupees (HK$6,220), according to a press release on Monday. Apple charges at least 45,000 rupees for an iPhone 5, while a Galaxy Note II from Samsung Electronics costs 35,600 rupees, according to the distributor's and the company's websites respectively.

The Z10 is central to BlackBerry's bid to revive sales after it posted three losses in four quarters amid global competition from Apple and Samsung. The flagship Z10 model is not due in the US, BlackBerry's biggest source of revenue, until next month.

In India, BlackBerry had maintained a higher market share than in other countries, helped by the popularity of its messenger service and low prices, said Kiranjeet Kaur, an analyst at IDC.

The country accounted for about 20 per cent of BlackBerry's Asia-Pacific sales, the research firm said.

The phonemaker's most popular handsets in India, the Curve series, cost from as little as 9,990 rupees, advertisements in the Times of India newspaper show.

Smartphone sales in India could rise 50 per cent this year to US$4 billion and cross US$7 billion by 2016, IDC said. The strong sales have also prompted Samsung and Apple to boost their presence in the country.