BlackBerry is introducing a new, affordable and versatile smartphone to the local market.
By the end of the month the tech producer hopes to launch the new and improved BlackBerry Curve 9320.
"The Curve series is one of the most popular series in Trinidad and some of them are getting old, so we are launching a new Curve line running on our new 7.1 software-and at similar pricepoints to the current models," says Research in Motion (RIM) regional manager Sean Killen.
The new Curve 9320 will also have some new features, including FM radio, faster web browsing and longer battery life.
It will be available from both local mobile networks, and available in a variety of colours. The company launched new models last November, again after an almost year-long hiatus.
Killen spoke with the Business Express last Wednesday at the Courtyard By Marriott, Invaders Bay, Port of Spain and said he was excited to see the reception on the local market.
"I can't wait for people to start trying them...The reception for these devices will be incredible. This is what I think the market will be looking for; this is how BlackBerry will remain relevant and maintain its market share," he said.
Killen maintained that the Caribbean was an important market for the Canadian-based RIM.
"A lot of people are wondering if we are okay in the region because they see ads from our competition, but last quarter (January-March) was our biggest ever in the region in terms of sales, and this quarter is doing very well," he said.
He admitted the company gets negative press from the North American and Western European press about its performance, especially in light of recent media reports that the company was going to give up on its consumer markets and focus on business.
"Our CEO's comments were taken out of context...We made sure to let people know we are not giving up on the consumers; the Caribbean market itself is probably 85 per cent consumer," he said.
Killen said there were several core markets-notably in South East Asia, Latin America and the Middle East-that will serve as a base for the company as it rolls out the next stages of its product.
"There are hundreds of millions of people in these markets and we have a very strong presence in them...The Caribbean is one of those core markets and that strength is really supporting the company as we make that transition. The Caribbean is very important to RIM," he said.
Trinidad and Tobago is one of the key Caribbean markets, Killen said, along with Jamaica and the Dominican Republic – especially as a hub for the southern Caribbean.
"I want people in Trinidad to understand that RIM views the Caribbean as a market of which they are proud; there were BlackBerries being sold here long before any other smart phones. This is a market we will fight for," he said.