Cultural Interface :

Research In Motion makes concessions to India & Kuwait

As the Blackberry market share comes under increasing pressure by the Apple iPhone and eventually Google’s Android, the importance of international markets becomes ever more apparent.

Several days ago I wrote about the failed negotiations and clash between the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia that to their announcement that the service would be terminated in their countries sometime soon. “Saudi Arabia and the UAE to Block Blackberry

It appears that even though the market share that RIM is concerned about in the UAE, India and Saudi Arabia is a mere 5% of the 41 million Blackberry devices worldwide, they are the markets with the strongest growth potential for RIM in the medium and long term.

India’s Economic Times has reported that RIM agreed to allow security authorities to monitor Blackberry services within the country. In parallel, the Kuwaiti daily al-Jarida, naming unnamed sources reported that RIM had given “initial approval” to block 3,000 porn sites at the request of the Kuwait’s communications ministry. It is not clear how this part of their security concerns.

The ‘security’ scrutiny placed on RIM’s Blackberry has not been expected from Apple’s iPhone and Nokia handsets, they do not control their own encrypted data centers, located in Canada and the UK. This level of autonomous secured private communications has made the Blackberry very popular and worried governments.

The uncomfortable question has to be asked, how far will this go? If pornography is considered a security threat what will be considered a threat in the future? What will RIM be willing to give in access to keep their growth? And at what point will this become clear to their customers, putting them in a tough spot, choosing between a service they love and one they can trust to keep their communications secure?

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