RIM eyes low-end Indian market with Curve 9220

RIM has launched its BlackBerry Curve 9220 smartphone in India as it aims to increase its share of the emerging market.

RIM is offering its “affordable” smartphone handset to customers, and highlights India as a “very important market” upon launch.

According to RIM, the Curve 9220 “puts Indians in control of their social life”, sounding like RIM presumes most Indians had been staring blankly into space until the new smartphone came along to reinvigorate their social lives.

The Curve 9220 smartphone will cost 10,900 rupees, around $210, and will enter a fiercely competitive market in which lower end phones have boosted firms such as Nokia, which has had a very strong presence over the years.

Nokia is now seeing a strain on dominance with Symbian-based feature phone, with cheap Android using smartphones from the likes of ZTE hurting its position.

RIM will be hoping it can sway users to its own range of cheaper phones, with the Curve 9220 offering “affordable pricing and unmatched messaging and social connectivity features”.

Battery life is also important, a strong selling point of feature phones, and clearly RIM is hoping that its new handset can bridge the gap between the old style of mobile and smartphones.

Seven hours battery standby time, FM radio, a 2MP camera and Blackberry 7.1 OS are offered with the device, which ship with a bunch of free apps to download from RIM’s not exactly bulging app selection.

In the developed market like the UK business suits and rioting hoodlums may be tiring of the BB, but if RIM can tempt consumers away from the lure of cheap smartphone offerings from Chinese manufacturers then its struggles in other region might not be as cataclysmic.