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BlackBerry, meet TD-SCDMA: RIM partners with China Mobile

Chris Ziegler

Enterprising Chinese have had access to BlackBerrys for some time now, but they've been met with limited sales for many of the same reasons that internationally successful products often fail in China: high prices, cheap clones, and a general lack of understanding of the local market's needs and behaviors. RIM, like any smart manufacturer, would love to find a way to effectively tap into the market, though -- and they're trying to make headway today on news that they've partnered with number one carrier China Mobile on customized devices. By "customized," we mean that these bad boys will support TD-SCDMA, which is China Mobile's proprietary 3G tech -- probably the only carrier in the world that could get away with that, thanks to its nine-figure subscriber count -- and will be offered through local distributor Digital China, whose market expertise RIM is hoping to capitalize. The silver bullet here might be the fact that China Mobile has committed to subsidizing the handsets; China is a huge prepaid market, but if they can get 'em cheap enough, they could have a shot.

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