It seems not even touch screens and a Grammy winning artist can save BlackBerry from a sales slump. Oddly enough though, the Canadian smartphone maker doesn’t blame its losses on Samsung Galaxies or iPhones, but rather Venezuela’s financial turmoil. Read more

Saudi Arabia’s clampdown on instant-messaging and free call companies from Skype to WhatsApp and Viber has riled the very people it needs on side right now: young people.

In the Gulf kingdom, where men and women who are not related are forbidden from fraternising in public, instant messaging and the ability to call for free – outside the purview of parental bill payers – is an outlet many have become used to. No wonder restricting the services is going down badly. Read more

India may be the world’s second largest mobile phone market by users but so far it hasn’t been a major focus for Apple. In the absence of the iPhone, Samsung and BlackBerry have led the way in the country.

More recently, however, that has begun to change. Just as BlackBerry launches its first smartphone in India under the BlackBerry 10 operating system, Apple is joining the fray with a big push in the developing market. Read more

Imagine an app that talks you through your yoga routine. Or an app that allows you to unlock your car, start the engine and turn on the air-conditioning remotely.

These are just two ideas developed by young south Indian entrepreneurs for the new BlackBerry 10, which launches this week.  Read more

Photo: Bloomberg

Research In Motion, the maker of BlackBerry smartphones, may have lost its lead in developed economies but there are still countries where it is flourishing.

Indonesia is one, as beyondbrics has previously reported. South Africa, where BlackBerry accounts for nearly a fifth of mobile phones, is another. And to recognise this, the BlackBerry 10, due in 2013, will hit African countries in the first wave, along with other important global markets. Read more

Although it is losing sales in the developed world to Apple’s iPhone and Google Android smartphones produced by Samsung and Sony, BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion has been able to console itself with its market leading position in Indonesia.

But that could be coming under threat, according to new figures from market research group IDC, which show that Android has overtaken BlackBerry as the most popular operating system in this country of 240m people. Read more

Thousands of Indonesians thronged the upmarket Pacific Place mall in central Jakarta on Friday waiting for the chance to buy the new Blackberry Bold 9790 smartphone – at its global debut.

By lunchtime, in scenes resembling a rock concert, several women fainted in the crush and five ambulances were parked outside. Traffic snarled on the city’s main thoroughfare, Sudirman. Police, fearing a riot, used a megaphone to announce the sale was over. Read more

In the Arab Gulf, it’s not just harassed businessmen who depend on BlackBerrys. Young people see the smartphones, and their social networking potential, as a way round conservative strictures. And the phone revolution doesn’t stop there: between 2007 and 2009, telecoms usage grew more in the Middle East (31.8-per-cent growth) than it did in Asia Pacific (23.6 per cent), according to independent research for the Middle East’s largest handset distributor, Axiom Telecom.

Axiom is hoping that all this can power its own initial public offering next month – the first new listing in the United Arab Emirates for two years. The company can point to a lucrative deal with BlackBerry-maker RIM. But even in the BlackBerry-loving Gulf, the margins are very tight. Read more

In the long running dispute between Research In Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry, and the United Arab Emirates, which has said it will soon block the smartphone due to security concerns over its encrypted network, there would appear to be one potential winner: Apple iPhones.

While the Abu Dhabi headquarters of Etisalat, the dominant telecoms operator of UAE, still proudly and prominently displays its selection of top-end BlackBerrys, the company’s salespeople are warning potential customers off the popular handset, and urging them to buy iPhones instead. Read more