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BlackBerry Z10 is expected to launch in India the second half of this month. Analysts, however, doubt the prospects of the flagship BlackBerry 10 smartphone in the country due to the likely high pricing.
Research In Motion, now officially known as BlackBerry, will reportedly not be delaying the launch of BlackBerry 10-based devices in India, and is expected to roll out its latest BlackBerry Z10 smartphone in the country in second half of this month. The new BlackBerry devices, however, are unlikely to appeal the Indian market, with analysts predicting operators will sell the device around $750 (roughly Rs. 39,756).
India along with Indonesia have emerged as the top two BlackBerry markets with the company eyeing the low-end subscribers with budget handsets and offering service packages as low as $2 a month. Reuters in its report quotes Melissa Chau, senior research manager at technology research group IDC as saying, “It's clear that not only are India and Indonesia among the largest markets but in terms of future smartphone growth, they're amongst the ones with the most potential. But the two devices that have been launched are not well aligned to the needs of these two markets."
The report citing ABI Research notes BlackBerry ranks third in the India after Samsung and Nokia in smartphone segment. However, the platform is facing stiff competition from Android-based smartphones in India as well as Indonesia.
"The Z10... is obviously a high-end product and India is not a market at that price point," says Anshul Gupta, an industry analyst at Gartner. "We don't know exactly what will be coming here, but I would expect them to launch different models in India which would give them more traction."
Analysts believe BlackBerry will need to announce cheaper BB10 devices in order to maintain its popularity in its top markets.
BlackBerry had unveiled the Z10, a full touch smartphone, last week. The device, pitted against Apple's flagship iPhone 5, features 4.2-inch 1280 x 728 pixel display, 2GB of RAM and 16GB internal storage. The company also unveiled BlackBerry Q10 with the traditional QWERTY keypad. The device features 3.1-inch 720 x 720 pixel touchscreen, a dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM. The Q10 also has an 1800mAh battery. Also read, BlackBerry Z10 Meta-Review.