Dubizzle sees rise in BlackBerry phone ads

Classifieds website says 28% of 230 BlackBerrys for sale posted since ban announcement.
Dubizzle sees rise in BlackBerry phone ads
By Joanne Bladd
Wed 04 Aug 2010 06:16 AM

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."

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