RIM Going All out For Chinese Market

Research In Motion is aggressively pushing its line of BlackBerry smartphones in China before competitors are able to gain a foothold. The BlackBerry Storm 9530 is coming to China Telecom this month and is the first 3G BlackBerry to officially be sold in the country. A version of BlackBerry App World is also in the works for the Asian giant, and the company is developing new devices that will work on China’s domestic TD-SCDMA 3G wireless networks.

BlackBerry sales fell slightly worldwide last quarter. Domestic (and US) sales have helped the bottom line but without growth abroad, Research In Motion (RIM) will have difficulty maintaining the dominance in the smartphone market that it enjoys. Access to China’s enormous and ever growing phone market is critical. Furthermore, every BlackBerry in the hand of a member of China’s market is one less iPhone or Android OS powered device user.

No announcement has been made yet as to when China will be getting the BlackBerry App World except for “soon,” so I would place my bet on it arriving around the time RIM rolls out App World 2.0. A number of top Chinese websites will be releasing BlackBerry optimized versions however. Broader carrier support for RIM’s phones will probably only begin once the locally popular TD-SCDMA 3G protocol is implemented into localized BlackBerrys.

Pushing into the right idea for RIM? Can it compete against cheap knockoffs? Why is it making a Chinese version of its App Store when we still have not gotten version 2 yet?

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