UAE, BlackBerry Settle Differences

By Cindy Waxer October 08, 2010

The folks over at Research In Motion must be breathing a collective sigh of relief. Just days before a moratorium was set to take effect on BlackBerry services, the United Arab Emirates resolved its dispute with the Canadian device maker.

Previously, the UAE threatened it would suspend BlackBerry Messenger, e-mail and Web browser services from Oct. 11, unless RIM figured out a way to locate encrypted servers in the country, so that the government could control access to messages.

The ban would have impacted 500,000 subscribers. Countries including Saudi Arabia and India also threatened to cut off services but both have managed to reach an agreement with RIM in recent months.

According to the Associated Press, the Emirates telecommunications regulator confirmed that a deal had been inked with RIM that brought the devices into compliance with local laws. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority offered few details, but said "no suspension of service will occur" Monday as previously planned, according to a statement carried by state news agency WAM.

These days, BlackBerry can’t afford to lose customers – either foreign or domestic. According to a report by tech trend firm ComScore, RIM is fast losing market share to Google’s Android operating system. Among the report’s key findings is that consumer awareness of Google’s Android is growing rapidly, due in large part to the Verizon Droid ad campaign. Further, of those American consumers in the market for a smartphone, 17 percent are considering the purchase of an Android-supported device in next three months, compared to 20 percent indicating they plan to purchase an iPhone.

ComScore also reported that while RIM is still the leading smartphone in the United States with a 37.6 percent share of American smartphone subscribers, that figure is down from 41.7 percent in the previous quarter.




Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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