BlackBerry in International Markets: Balancing Business Interests and Host Nations' Security Concerns

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR391
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 2007-2010
Pub Date : 2011
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Research In Motion
Industry : Consumer Electronics, Smartphones
Countries : Global, India, Asia, Middle East

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"Terrorists and criminals have 'thousands of ways' to hide their communications... Eventually we'll get to a point to ban computers... There's always a discussion about things that develop technologically. But we have to live with it"1

- Sheik Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Bahrain.'s foreign minister, on BalckBerry Controversy, in 2010

Research In Motion (RIM), a Canadian company, was the maker of the BlackBerry smatphone1. Mike Lazaridis, founder and co-CEO of RIM, launched the first BlackBerry smartphone in 2002. Initially Blackberries were sold to business entities and government agencies in UK, US and Canada, but later in 2005 as the smartphone market took off all over the world, RIM decided to expand its overseas business. At that time RIM had no clue that its biggest selling point - strong encryption built into the design of the BlackBerry system that guaranteed customers privacy- would turn out be a major hurdle in its overseas expansion spree, especially in Asia and the Middle East. In 2010, Government of UAE imposed a ban on BlackBerry

and created a furor in countries like India, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia among others.

lackBerry in International Markets...cont.. - Next Page>>

1] Adam Schreck, "Saudi Arabia Blackberry Ban Lifted,", August 10, 2010
2] Smartphone is a cellular telephone with built-in applications and Internet access. Smartphones provide digital voice service as well as any combination of text messaging, e-mail, Web browsing, still camera, video camera, MP3 player, video player, television and organizer. In addition to their built-in functions, smartphones have become application delivery platforms, turning the once single-purpose cell phone into a mobile computer.


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