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Analysts: There will be BlackBerry deal
‘Three months is a long time in telecoms.’ But can Research In Motion really walk the fine line between state and corporate demands?
August 3, 2010 3:43 by Reuters
The data security prized by corporate BlackBerry users is a headache for governments intent on monitoring chatter, and so is both a blessing and a curse for smartphone maker Research In Motion.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are just the latest countries to fret about BlackBerries and the national security concerns raised by their inability to monitor traffic on them.
The spotlight now on RIM is a symptom of its foray into foreign markets as North American growth slows. How it deals with that will determine whether Canada-based RIM retains its reputation as the Swiss army knife of company communications.
Socially conservative UAE, home to Gulf financial hub Dubai, said on Sunday it would block key selling points including email, instant messaging, and web browsing from Oct. 11 until a fix could be found. If introduced, the ban would effectively castrate the powerful devices there.
“This is a well-trodden path for RIM. Security is RIM’s core competitive advantage in the western world but it’s becoming a frustrating barrier to expansion into more politically and security sensitive markets,” said Geoff Blaber from British telecom consultancy CCS Insight.
Russia and China allowed RIM in after long, private discussions, while India says the firm has assured it that security concerns will be addressed.
The Canadian firm, as tight-lipped as its famed 256 bit encryption, has declined to comment at length about its moves to allay security concerns in at least five emerging markets, where shipments have doubled in the past year.
But analysts agree that RIM, as in the past, will seek a delicate balance between state and corporate demands.