Research In Motion Limited (BBRY - Analyst Report) slashed its start-up BlackBerry service rates of INR899 ($16.8) for corporate users and INR399 ($7.45) for individuals. The rates were reduced to INR129 ($2.4) for both the users for a 1 GB monthly data plan.
Research In Motion’s Indian telecom partner Aircel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone Group Plc.’s (VOD - Analyst Report) Indian unit will offer the new subscription plan to its customers. The service will be available across 15 telecom circles exclusive of metro cities and category A circles. Customers with BlackBerry 7-based handsets are eligible to subscribe to the new service plan.
By the end of fiscal 2012, Research In Motion sold 15.1 million smartphones in the second-largest populated country, India. Research In Motion's market share in India is a mere 7.5% in comparison with Samsung and Nokia Corp. (NOK - Analyst Report), which hold 43.2% and 13.3%, respectively.
The Indian handset market is mainly dominated by low-priced feature phones. However, the trend seems to reverse as the smartphone market grew by 48% last year as compared with 16% growth in the feature phone market. In order to avail the opportunity, Research In Motion is considerably lowering its smartphone prices and reducing the entry-level service rates.
The Indian market is highly price-sensitive. In order to increase its penetration in the mobile crazy country as well as to counter intense competition against local handset makers like Micromax and Karbonn, which offer Google Inc.’s Android-based low-cost mobile phones, the company has rolled out such promotional pricing strategy.
Currently, Research In Motion carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).