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RIM Mulling Over Pre-Paid BlackBerry Service & Devices In Developing Nations?

Now this is an interesting twist for RIM. BlackBerry devices are usually a pretty expensive investment and don’t lend themselves to pre-paid accounts like the sidekick. Turns out that RIM’s test of a pre-paid service in Indonesia went well and they are thinking of rolling it out elsewhere.

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The BoyGenius scored some insider slides showing what RIM is considering for a pre-paid device. They are thinking about targeting people who are on a limited budget and cannot get credit from their carrier. They also want to catch the segment that just does not want to sign a contract and share their personal information (terrorists & drug dealers???).

They have two ideas of how to pull this off. One would be a regular pre-paid model where you buy the device retail and purchase cards for service. The second is more of a pre-paid contract where you pay upfront for the device and one year of BIS service… Who knows it might work but I can only imagine the costs. Think about it now $500 retail for the device plus $30 a month for a year equals a $860 box!!! I don’t know that many low income users who would be able to afford that…

NOTE: I highly recommend checking out the slide gallery. Not for information but rather because some of these slides are just downright funny! Such as RIM’s image of immigrant workers and them putting “poor people” in quotes…

via BoyGenius Report

5 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Wow, I would totally go for this. Love my BB and could do without the additional cell phone plan that I rarely use due to having a Company issued Nextel for all my voice and direct connect needs.

  2. You can buy a pay as you go blackberry 8100 here in Chile for around US$300.

  3. “They also want to catch the segment that just does not want to sign a contract and share their personal information (terrorists & drug dealers???).”

    Sadly, some of the above probably will be interested, but in Canada and the US there have been cases of people’s cellphone records being purchased and used for various reasons. An article by Newsweek (I think it was Newsweek) even bought the records of the privacy commisioner in Canada to make a point. A few months after the Chris Benoit murders/suicide a site even got it’s hands on text messages sent and recieved by his phone (not just to/from whom, but the actual text in the messages). Since many prepaid accounts can be activated online it would be useful for someone who wanted to guard their information by having it under a different name.

  4. Wow, Ronen! You associate people who do not want to sign a contract and share their personal information with terrorists & drug dealers??? Eight years of Bush administration sure had a nasty effect on you.

    RedNightHawk is absolutely right. Access to personal data has been abused left and right. Modern companies are the real crooks here.

  5. Oh dont get me wrong I get prepaid phones/SIM cards all the time when I travel to different countries and I wish I had the option to add BlackBerry data to them. On the other hand I can attest to the drug dealer part of my mention. I am sure there are a bunch of valid uses for a prepaid data plan but when I used to work in the Bronx the SideKick was the drugdealers phone of choice due to it being the only one available for prepaid users.

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