By Andy Sambidge
Dubai retail debut will offer the region's first one-hour repair or replace service, says RIM
Research In Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, will open its first flagship retail store in the Middle East on Thursday.
The BlackBerry Retail Concept Store, which will have a grand opening at 5pm local time, is part of Canada-based RIM's plans to offset falling US sales.
The store will feature the first one-hour repair or replace service in the Middle East, RIM said in a statement.
Last year, a senior RIM executive said stores with local partner Axiom Telecom are planned across the region.
Located on level two of the Dubai Mall, the BlackBerry store will provide shoppers a chance to experience the latest models through live demos, as well as to pre-register for upcoming smartphones.
"For the first time in the Middle East, UAE-based users and Dubai Mall visitors will experience a personalised BlackBerry-branded service that will reflect the priority and importance given to the region by the global smartphone brand," RIM said in the statement.
The new store will also include an in-store maintenance and repair service hub offering free software upgrades, data back-up and transfer solutions, product set-up, service collection and warranty verification.
While Americans are dumping their BlackBerrys for Apple’s iPhone or Android devices, RIM is counting on first-time smartphone buyers across the Middle East, Africa and Asia to choose a BlackBerry.
Good for BlackBerry focusing on growth outside of the USA! I think BlackBerry has a promising future and will have some very interesting developments going forward... Good to see BlackBerry back in the game!