RIM watchers in North America and Europe may be keenly watching the great Canadian car-crash ahead of BlackBerry 10, but the smartphone company is still pushing ahead with its developing markets strategy and a new BlackBerry Curve 9220 for India. The budget handset packs a full QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad and 2.44-inch 320 x 240 display, but RIM is pushing the community focus with a dedicated shortcut to access BBM and an FM radio “to listen to news in your community.”
The rest of the specifications are similarly humble, with a 2-megapixel camera with fixed-focus and video recording, 512MB of internal memory with a microSD card slot to add to it, and WiFi b/g/n but no 3G. Still, buyers will get up to 7hrs talktime or 18 days standby from a single charge, and there’s Bluetooth and a speakerphone.
RIM’s target, the company’s global sales chief Patrick Spence told Reuters, is what might traditionally be thought of as Nokia’s audience: feature phone users upgrading to their first smartphone. “We believe we can be successful in that” Spence argues, something Nokia is currently struggling to do with Symbian device sales shrinking at a faster rate than the Finns initially expected.
In India, the Curve 9220 will be priced at 10,990 rupees ($213), and a similar amount when the company tries to maintain its previous success with an Indonesian launch in the coming weeks. No plans to launch the handset in Europe or North America have been confirmed.