RIM's Blackberry Starts Shipping to China

Research In Motion Ltd has shipped the first of its BlackBerry smartphones to China and aims to start selling them later this year, a major breakthrough for the company in penetrating the huge Asian market.

RIM said on Tuesday it struck a Chinese distribution deal with Alcatel-Lucent. The first handset to be sold under the new partnership is the 8700 model, versions of which RIM has sold globally for several years.

"China and India are emerging mobile phone behemoths that could contribute millions of subscribers to RIM over the next several years," said Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company already has a service partnership with China Mobile for its entry into China, where it will face competition from low-cost rivals, including a popular local service called RedBerry.

source: reuters

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