The BlackBerry, the de rigeur handheld device for alpha males, has finally arrived in China. Chinese financial analysts and tech industry executives now need no longer feel inferior in the company of their western counterparts. They too can now spend all their time furtively typing messages on their BlackBerries rather than paying attention to the speech, conference or presentation.
Canada's RIM, the manufacturer of the BlackBerry, is showing off the first BlackBerry handset to be available in China at a trade show this week.
After years of trying, RIM finally struck a deal with China Mobile, the country's largest mobile operator, last year to offer the BlackBerry “push” e-mail service, which essentially differentiates the BlackBerry from a common-or-garden mobile phone.
But Chinese regulators did not approve the BlackBerry handsets for sale in China until the first quarter of this year, meaning BlackBerry users had to bring in handsets from outside China, according to this PC World story.
To get the BlackBerry approved for the Chinese market, RIM had to team up with western telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent. Unlike the Canadian firm, Alcatel-Lucent has a well-established Chinese presence through a handset JV with TCL Communications, which makes mobile phones in China using the Alcatel and TCL brands.
More on Alcatel's Chinese connection in this story.