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BlackBerry opens first regional store

Blackberry Research In Motion

Dubai customers first in the world to buy the latest Q5 smartphone.

June 19, 2013 9:19 by

BlackBerry, formerly known as Research in Motion, will be celebrating the launch of its first official retail store in the Middle East tomorrow.

At 5pm on Thursday, on the second level of The Dubai Mall, Kipp expects to see a long queue of BlackBerry fans (and potential customers) eager to experience the many ‘firsts’ the Canadian-based company has promised them.

For one, as opposed to browsing through the shop of an authorised dealer or retailer, as users have done for years, BlackBerry promises to deliver a personalised BlackBerry-branded service at their ‘Retail Concept Store’.

And, with the company having announced its third device in the BB10 line, the comparatively budget-friendly Q5 smartphone (priced at AED1, 499), Dubai customers are told they will be the first in the world with the chance to purchase it.

Only a limited number of the phones will be available on opening day.

Assuming you also predict long queues and have no time to stand around in one, you can either pre-order it later at the store or wait until next month – when the device is expected to be available across the UAE and region wide.

If you’re a fan of the devices, but have no interest in purchasing their latest, you can, at the very least, take comfort in knowing that you’ll finally have a go-to location for all your maintenance troubles.

“The new store will also ensure local users are taking full advantage of their devices thanks to the in-store maintenance and repair service hub offering free software upgrades, data back-up and transfer solutions, product set-up, service collection and warranty verification, as well as the first one-hour repair or replace service in the Middle East,” BlackBerry said in an emailed statement.

As for iPhone and Android users, they are still in the dark as to when BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) would be available on their operating systems. The release date was previously rumoured to be June 27 (which the company later denied) but the company has yet to confirm an actual date – especially since the release depends mostly on Apple and Google.

Robert Bose, regional managing director, was unavailable to speak to Kipp Report about the company’s current standing, but analysts at RBC Capital Markets predicted this week that the Canadian firm, after recent quarterly losses, should be profitable this fiscal year.

BlackBerry will release its first-quarter earnings on June 28.

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