Just a few months before, I explained why RIM decided to set up its BlackBerry server in Mumbai. The company’s intention was to provide a better lawful access of e-mail and BBM services to Indian government departments along with folks. The company took the plunge due to Indian authorities’ intervention to provide access grants to them for investigating citizens’ information.
However, RIM’s new CEO—Thorsten Heins—has recently said that the company is committed to co-operate with Indian authorities, but won’t allow them to access enterprise information. After long deliberation, RIM agreed to provide access solution to telecom operators for consumer traffic, but the company is still firm over its decision to deny information access related to its enterprise customers.
At present, the company does not want to compromise with consumer’s securities, however, it wants to help Indian authorities for what they need to achieve related to consumers.
The main reason behind such rigid stand is the corporate mails and other information related services (provided by RIM) which are being used by 90% of Fortune 500 companies. Really, it’s tough for any company to grant access of enterprise information without corporate concern to Indian authorities.
India is one of the fastest growing markets in terms of smartphone shipments and the market is quite lucrative for RIM as well. As of the end of 2011, RIM succeeded to grab 15% market share in smartphone segment in India.
Apparently, RIM is right at its own place but the demands of Indian authorities are also ethical so that unsocial elements could not leverage on RIM’s services. The Indian authorities do not want to allow any sensitive data access – related to the country’s security- from outside the nation. And, even if it’s required in few scenarios, they want to have monitory setup in place.
On the contrary, RIM has made a stronghold among enterprise users and if it grants the access of enterprise information to any national authorities, maintaining the creditibility in future would be a great challenge. And, I think, this would not be a good bode for the company.
The major concern for RIM is not the demands of Indian authorities, but its declining market share in North America and other matured markets against Apple and Samsung. Besides, delay of BB10 is also one of its major concerns. The company is also losing ground to rivals due to its late reaction to ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) revolution and lack of innovative products.
However, the company believes that BB10 OS would be a game changer and now, it’s bullish to build a strong smartphone platform and mobile ecosystem around. Undoubtedly, RIM’s BB is considered as one of the real multi-tasking mobile platforms today which has around 80 million subscribers base worldwide.