It took them a while, but now RIM finally is ready to follow Apple and enter the world’s biggest mobile market, China, with the Blackberry. The company issued two press releases in the last days outlining their market entry strategy that’s built upon a strategic partnership with Beijing-based IT service provider Digital China (which is the country’s biggest).
Digital China was chosen by RIM as the official Blackberry distribution partner and is expected to help sell the phones to end consumers and companies through their established sales network for computer systems and IT equipment.
Currently, there’s only one Blackberry model officially available in China. That handset was introduced by China Mobile as early as 2006 and has been sold exclusively to selected clients in big corporations since. (The iPhone, on the other hand, is being distributed in China by China Unicom, the country’s second largest telecommunications company.)
But the bigger and more important partner for RIM in China is China Mobile Communications, the world’s biggest telecommunications company. RIM has signed a contract with that company, promising to deliver Blackberry phones that support China Mobile’s proprietary TD-SCDMA network. The first customized Blackberry model (details haven’t been announced yet) will be released early next year, according to RIM.
In 2010, the over 700 million mobile phone users in China will also get RIM’s App Store “App World”, their IM service FETION and a number of other Blackberry services. RIM says details will be announced at a “later date”.