By Joanne Bladd
Classifieds website says 28% of 230 BlackBerrys for sale posted since ban announcement.
Dubizzle, the UAE’s largest classifieds website, has confirmed a rise in ads offering BlackBerrys for sale following a move by the UAE government to ban the smartphones.
The Dubai-based site said 28 percent of the more than 230 ads offering BlackBerrys for sale had been posted in the last three days, compared with 22 percent of iPhone classifieds during the same period.
“I would say that the difference is significant enough to suggest that there has been a small increase in the sale of Blackberrys since the announcement,” said JC Butler, managing partner, Dubizzle.
“If the date approaches and the deadlock [continues], you might then see a more significant fire sale of handsets.”
The Dubai site attracts some 2.5 million visitors and 34 million page views a month.
The UAE on Sunday said it would ban BlackBerry email, web browsing and messaging services from 11 October, unless the smartphone’s maker, Research In Motion (RIM), agrees to allow the government access to data.
Saudi Arabia quickly followed suit, ordering telecom operators to freeze messaging services for BlackBerry users this month.
There are an estimated 500,000 BlackBerry users in the UAE. The devices are thought to comprise about 10 percent of the country’s mobile phones.
Canadian firm RIM has been slow to respond to the announcement, instead issuing a generic statement assuring customers it remained committed to their privacy.
"The company respects both the regulatory requirements of government and the security and privacy needs of corporations and consumers. RIM does not disclose confidential regulatory discussions that take place with any government, however, RIM assures its customers that it is committed to… [satisfying] the needs of both customers and governments."For all the latest UAE news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
I can understand the country being worried, but why is just the UAE worried, surely there are other countries who should worry more about national security - even Obama has a blackberry. I think this is truly ridiculous. The UAE is my home have been here for a long time, but when acts like this are pulled, I often re-think why I am here. There is no protection for us the consumer. The "alternatives" offered - are absolute rubbish, it seems so backwards in a country that really is in some ways so advanced. Talk about 1 step forward and 4 steps back... I am very disappointed. After over 20 years of living here, you think you've seen it all, it's a bad move.
Marie, This is in response to your "surely there are other countries who should worry more about national security - even Obama has a blackberry", Just to let you know in case you don't, RIM parent company of Black Berry has a separate strategy for the US, Canada and the UK govts. These govt's can access the RIM servers anytime for security reasons. US has a server for RIM and RIM has a server in Singapore which only the US and UK has access to!! Can you please explain why? Why the double standard policy? If UAE as a country part of this global community raises the same concerns why does RIM not comply to their concerns. Today India and China are also voicing out the same concern. The way i see it is going forward many countries will follow the UAE. RIM has to change their policy if they want to go forward. Nobody denies the fact that RIM has a solid product and good service and btw Im one of the addicts of BB and i will suffer a lot but I agree 100% with the ruling. My only complaint to TRA is didnt they know about this concerns while launching BlackBerry in the country? Why did TRA allow BB then? Why did TRA let the telecoms market it so aggressively and now after 3 years suddenly they have decided to stop the service?!!
Dear Yousef, I actually didn't know that the policy was different in North America - certainly makes more sense. I see your point of view, thanks for the clarification.
Dear Yousef & Mairie, Though i do agree that RIM has a different strategy for US,UK & Canada. Please do realise the fact that Privacy & Information Protection laws are very strictly monitored & implemented in those countries. The countries which are currently making all the noises about national security have some of the worst records in Private information protection, including human rights violations. Though i am not a party to RIM's negotiations with the govts, i presume that they would have asked guarantees on the right to privacy & encryption of data. So the Push should be for more genuine Privacy & Information protection laws & Strict monitory agencies. Afterall isnt that what its about delivering power to the people. U call it democracy or Communism, the principle is the same isnt it? I do agree that there are genuine security considerations like the report which said that the terrorists in the Mumbai attack were using Blackberry handsets to communicate securely. I think RIM did offer during its negotiations as was stated in the communiqae that in case of a serious national emergency they will provide information from their servers. Also from a technical perspective, the problem is not of setting up servers or giving access to data. It is how strong the encryption breaking abilities of the Cryptologists of the Country are (These are highly sophisticated computer slueths, (spies if u may say) who monitor the digital interface of the country) BB if i remember right encrypts data in 128 bit security architechture. The current Cryptological capability of the countries which are making all the noises @ the max is 32 Bit encryption. Hence all the "Hullaballo" The US, UK & Canadian Govts have currently the capability to break and intercept communication. Hope this does clarify issues.
Abdul, Thanks for the detailed explanation. Indeed I see a point in what you say, but isn't it a story the west always propagates. I can agree with you in the case of all the countries asking for accessing the data.
Whilst I sincerely appreciate efforts made in earnest to create security, and could not agree more on the rights of nations to take action in those regards.... this is not one of them in my opinion. Well done RIM. This one is too tough to disassemble and repackage. I guess China and India will have to invent something digital of their own this time; and find more legitimate ways to be more competitive. The two largest competitors in Asia both vying for a "solution" to the blackberry "security" issue. I don't believe in coincidence. This digital tug of war did not start with BB and the simultaneous entrance of the UAE and KSA with token nose thumbing by diplomats is also interesting. I am having trouble recalling when the US objected (politically) to a problem being faced by a Canadian Company. Perhaps this is the new face of NAFTA... being run by the only outspoken person on the taxpayers roll that has not been swiftly sacked. There is no double standard policy. The people who do have legal access to this pose little risk to the owners (of information) in disseminating to others the intellectual property and business intelligence gained from having that access. To solidify this point, the (people in the) Governments of the UK, US and Aussie land are fairly useless in demonstrating acuity in business. Whereas the governments of the objecting countries are well... a good business. Future strategy: RIM shares may drop even more as more jump on the (give it to me free or Ill block you) bandwagon and then the buying can commence (likely by those who screamed the loudest). If you can't get something you want for free, then get as much as you can as cheaply as you can. When you own it lock, stock, and barrel, then you can do what you want with it... ask a communications monopoly what there policy is on compromise before you agree to disagree. So lets look at the scores: Round 1 - RIM vs China: 1-0 Rim Round 2 - RIM vs India: 1-0 Rim Round 3 - RIM vs US: Cancelled. Match to be moved to UAE Round 4 - RIM vs UAE: Draw Round 5 - RIM vs KSA: Exhibition match (non league) Have a lovely weekend!