Blackberry: We Are Not Out Of The Consumer Smartphone Race

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As Nokia, Samsung and LG go out of their way to highlight the enterprise capabilities of their new mobile phone offerings, Blackberry, has said that they are not “concerned” as they are targeting the “youth” market due to the “easy” messaging capability of Blackberry phones.Analysts claim that 2011 is a year of transition for Blackberry as it moves away from its traditional business roots to chase the mass consumer market.

Research In Motion boss Jim Balsillie has dismissed suggestions that its Blackberry devices are no longer a major player in the smartphone race following recent comments by Nokia’s Stephen Elop, who said that the smartphone ecosystem was now a three horse race between Windows, Android and Apple.

“I don’t know how you can say that we are not in the race,” said Mr Balsillie at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

He said that Blackberry had experienced 70% growth last year. GFK research shows that despite this growth the company is still behind Google, Nokia and Apple in terms of market share.

“Are people writing us off? We have had huge growth in the last year. I wouldn’t write us off,” he said.

He was also keen to shake off RIM’s business focussed image.

“80% of our subscribers are consumers.” He told the BBC who said that  for Mr Balsillie the greatest change is the move into larger devices.

“The biggest transition for us is that we are coming out with tablets,” he said.

The firm announced its Playbook tablet device in September 2010.

In Barcelona, the firm also said that would be launching a 4G Playbook in the second half of the year. None of its tablets have yet hit shop shelves, but are expected in the coming weeks.

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