Research In Motion opening first of many BlackBerry flagship stores in Dubai - Erin Burnett is pleased

By Michelle Haag on 17 Apr 2012 03:06 am EDT

In a refreshing twist from all the doom and gloom we hear about Research In Motion these days, Erin Burnett of CNN weighed in on recent reports of plans the BlackBerry maker has to build the first of many flagship stores in Dubai. She even affectionately refers to her red BlackBerry Torch as 'Beloved' in the video above. "My Beloved rules in the developing world, and that's a huge thing that goes uncovered here at home."

It's no secret that while BlackBerry sales have seen a decline in the recent past in North America, the platform continues to thrive in other countries. In the Middle East, for example, carriers offer very competitive consumer and business packages for BlackBerry users, and BlackBerry Messenger is very popular with adults and youths alike. Recent IDC data shows that shipments in the Middle East and Africa more than doubled to 2.29 million units in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, outselling the iPhone by a margin of nearly 4-to-1.

RIM is currently partnering with Axiom Telecom and is in the final stages of negotiation on a lease for 1500 square feet of retail space in Dubai that will be home to the first BlackBerry flagship store in the region. Sandeep Saihgal, managing director of RIM’s Middle East business, said in an interview that the plans don't end there. “We’re getting the first one up and running and then we’ll be looking at other cities across the Middle East -- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar." In fact, they are looking at opening 4000 stores, kiosks, and more in Indonesia alone. During the same interview, Patrick Spence, RIM’s global head of sales, indicated that the Middle East expansion "will probably be followed by Africa, with RIM planning flagship stores in markets including Nairobi, Kenya, and Lagos".

Sources: Bloomberg, CNN

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Research In Motion opening first of many BlackBerry flagship stores in Dubai - Erin Burnett is pleased


RIM needs to blow everyone out of the water with BB10. As an indie dev on BlackBerry, I can tell you that the only devs that make money are the large co's like Rovio, Gameloft, or those that outsource to China like (Smarter Apps).

Still sticking it out because I love my email.

If it was more about content, they would have placed a bot to read out stories and news on every news channel.
Most of 'em watch and listen because of the presenter.
Classic example: Mobile Nations weekly round-up by Ashley.

What is worse, them not having stores or them having stores and they are always empty? I think that is what they are thinking. In Dubai and the other countries, where they have or going to have stores, that is not a concern.

I agree!!!! Where are the other stores in the bigger market. I'm sure they can at least start with one in a major city in the UK and USA. I live in PA, USA so I would want one in the East coast like NY or Philadelphia......

Well that was refreshing to hear, rather than the rest of the news outlets parroting a stale story of doom and gloom. Don't get me wrong, RIM is certainly at a turning point now, but it's not so one sided as you may believe from some reports in the US.

I was in a small local AT&T store last week. The salesman told me I should trade my Bold 9000 for a Bold 9900. That's a switch!!! He said he prefers BB & in his country (in the Caribbean) most people have BBs!! I wish that would happen in the US so I could use my BBM for more than 1 friend!
Good for Erin and her Beloved!!

I am worried that RIM will let BB10 out the door without solid Arabic-script support. This is because

1) BB10 Is based on the same OS as the PlayBook - which has no Arabic or bidirectional support at all.

2) RIM'S record of releasing things - viz. the PlayBook - 3/4th baked (not to say half-baked).

If they release BB10 without solid Arabic, along without Arabic on the PlayBook, then they will really be shooting themselves in the foot.

ishamid - I don't want to sound like a jerk because I truly understand your concern for not having Arabic-support on the PlayBook or BB10 devices.. but you have posted this same comment in multiple articles. I would think that if RIM popping up stores across the Middle East, their products will eventually have Arabic support.

Its starting....AAPL & GOOG down 10% in last couple of days...RIM (& RIMM) up 10+%. The buzz has been started, if you look around enough you'll see more and more little stories of praise like this. RIM is not dead, far from it and the news is getting out. All we need now is delivery. I personally believe that BB10 WILL live up to the hype. Stay Calm...Be Bold everyone.

I LOVE Erin Burnett. She was great on CNBC and now they SUCK (cause she left). Also, can someone send her an updated 9810? Shes rocking the 9800 still...

Maybe she likes the color. Either way, thanks Erin! You Goddess!

Is it just me or did everyone else notice the dude rocking his trackwheel?! CNN must have some really old stock video of people using "smartphones" or Thorsten is right and RIM really need to get on the marketing and shove a BB7 device into the hands of anyone using a 9700 or lower! :)

On the other hand it shows the staying power of a 8700....still rocking hard on the Street!

If would be neat if RIM would open a flagship store in the medium to largest market with the highest concentration of BlackBerry smartphone subscribers. It would be a good opportunity to demonstrate the interoperability with the PlayBook.

Erin gets a +1 from me :) This was a great article to read while I wait for my Playbook OS update to finish downloading!