Research in Motion has finally received permission to sell its BlackBerry devices in China, after an eight year wait. A manager at the company's Beijing office said it will start selling the BlackBerry 8700g handset from the end of August for the equivalent of about $700. The manager said there are nearly 5,000 advance orders, primarily from corporate customers from multinational firms. RIM is considering a plan to manufacture the devices in China, according to the manager. RIM has launched the BlackBerry across Asia including Japan, South Korea, Singapore and India. Analysts estimate RIM could boost its subscriber growth rate to 25%, from 15% currently, once the BlackBerry is fully operational in China. One of its competitors, the suspiciously named "RedBerry," was launched by China Unicom in spring 2006.
Sources: The Globe and Mail I, II
Commentary: RIM Gets Approval To Sell Handsets In China • Research In Motion Moves Up 20% As Outlook Amazes Investors • RIM CEO Hints At New Multimedia BlackBerrys
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM), China Mobile Limited (CHL). Competitors: China Unicom Ltd. (CHU), Motorola Inc. (MOT), Nokia Corp. (NOK), Palm, Inc. (PALM), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Apple Inc. (INC). ETFs: iShares S&P GSTI Networking (IGN), Wireless HOLDRs (WMH), iShares MSCI Canada Index (EWC)
Conference call transcripts: Research In Motion F1Q08
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