RIM wants more but is mum about Philippine office

RIM wants more but is mum about Philippine office

We had a late lunch at the Circles in Shangri-la with representatives of Research in Motion (RIM) from Singapore yesterday and they briefly discussed with us their current standing in the Philippine smartphone market.

They also brought with them a handful of BlackBerry Playbook tablets and the Bold 9900 which they couldn’t actually (read: officially) show to us (they say it’s still premature). We’ve already finished our review of the BB Playbook here and we actually had some hands-on time with the Bold 9900 in Singapore back in June.

It was also an opportunity for us to throw them some questions (the really hard ones).

Here are some tidbits of our discussion yesterday:

1) RIM has over 800 retailers carrying the BlackBerry handsets in the country on top of the carriers that bundle them with plans.

2) They also have nine (9) BlackBerry Expert Centers (mostly Metro Manila, Davao and Cebu) where you can go to have your handsets serviced, updated or warrantied. They also offer temporary replacement units for handsets that needs to be repaired so you can still use your BBM while waiting for the unit to be fixed.

3) RIM is now offering 24 months warranty on all devices (handsets only), the first and only extended warranty on any commercial smartphone in the country.


4) According to a recent survey by GfK, the BlackBerry Curve 8520 is the top-selling smarpthone in the Philippines. This could be due to the fact that all carriers are offering the handset for free with a corresponding postpaid plan.

5) RIM now has a total user-base in excess of 100,000 smartphones in the Philippines (based on activation, they actually said it’s in the 6 figures but would not say exactly how many). They have over 3 million user-base in Indonesia so our numbers are still relatively small.

6) They have Novare as a (local partner) development company doing app and content development for BlackBerry. We should be seeing some really local apps from BlackBerry App World soon.

7) Most importantly (and I’ve stressed this in my review of the Playbook), Android Apps will soon be available in the Playbook.

As for the Philippine office, RIM does not have anything concrete about putting up one in the Philippines. In fact, they’ve just recently opened one in Indonesia (the BlackBerry country) so I’m guessing it might take a while before they open one here as well.

As for more affordable BlackBerry Internet Service, they’ve partly disclosed that they are coming up with some pretty attractive plans with unlimited offerings (probably a combo of calls, text and BIS) for a monthly fee of only Php999. We’ll just have to wait for it but our guess is that it will be thru Sun Cellular.

As for the local release of the BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900, they could not say anything solid but promised it should be out in the Philippines before December 2011.

RIM obviously wants more and is hoping for a bigger smartphone market in the Philippines. They certainly have a very respected brand (almost aspirational devices too) and have great exposure with executives and showbiz personalities so they certainly have a shot making the Philippines their next BlackBerry country, after Indonesia.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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24 Responses

  1. Good to know some points about BlackBerry.

  2. Cocopako says:

    Sana magkaroon din ang blackberry ng app that can use for WiFi tethering to other devices

  3. jonski22 says:

    isn’t the RIM is “dying” in the US/Canada?

  4. luilui says:

    Bakit ba palagi nalang nagkakaroon ng comment na BB is dying? I think sa stock market lang naman sila mababa. Hindi naman siguro dying na hahantong sa bankruptcy.

    Anyways, saan makikita yung nine (9) BlackBerry Expert Centers in Manila, Cebu, and Davao?

  5. gin says:

    i think they said that BB is dying because in my opinion BB are totally B for Boring.. no cool apps / games like android / iOS devices.. parang status symbol lang dahil mukhang sosyal or pangbusiness oriented persons “daw”.. anyways, BB is a good choice for those who dont like touch screens and is addicted to physical qwerty keypads..

    • Mike says:

      Well, yeah.. but I guess that’s the main reason why RIM had “finally” introduced “touch screen capability” on all their new smart phones, they now all share the same specs as well.

      : )

  6. James S says:


    That’s around 2000 employees getting let go due to their lackluster performance.

    I know that many businesses still won’t adopt iOS and Android due to the Blackberry servers. But for the regular non-corporate, smartphone buyer, an iPhone or Android device would more than fit his/her needs more than a BB would. Smartphones are all about features and those two platforms have everything that a BB does and more, and on the content side of things, the BlackBerry App World is a joke compared to the iOS app store and the Android Market.

  7. Ligrev says:

    Diba Bold 9900?

    (or I may be mistaken)

    -Sent via YugaTech Mobile App

  8. Joseph says:

    How about phones and tables bought abroad? will they support it? Rumor has it that in another country the Bold 9900 would be out this August. And I’m planning to get one as soon as it comes out. And if they ever open an office here. I’m willing to apply. hehehe! I’m an addict.

    • yuga says:

      @joseph – the warranty is only domestic so only units bought from local distributors will be supported. you will have to seek support from the retailer and country where you got it.

  9. What?! Tagal naman ng release ng bold 9900. T_T

  10. closetgeek says:

    Proud to be from Novare :)

  11. 21 says:

    RIM doesn’t offer any upgrade on the platform. Ridiculous. You paid much and no upgrade.

  12. Cartman says:

    Where can we find these BlackBerry Expert Centers? I need to go to one of those. :-O

  13. Lysa Sanchez says:

    Hi! I got my BB from Smart Telecom last March and just a few weeks ago a colored barcode appeared on my screen. When I went to SMART they said that they need to send the unit to RIM in Singapore wherein they estimate it will take 2-3 months for it to be returned here since they don’t have a service center here in the Phil and they will not offer any service unit so I was curious about the Blackberry Service Center.

    Do they really have one in Manila?

  14. David Astley says:

    So where are these BlackBerry Expert Centers? I googled “BlackBerry Expert Centers Manila” and all I got was a load of links to Chinese websites.

  15. Michael Arcilla says:

    Yeah, where are the service centers? I’ve long had to get my BB’s repaired at Greenhills and it would be significantly better to get it done officially – and ideally with reduced cost if the units are really under a 2-year warranty coverage.

  16. Randy Alcala says:


    I have talked to the Sales Lady in the Ambassador located in Park Square Makati, they Said the release date of Blackberry bold 9900 would be October,can be earlier. :D

  17. dondel says:

    we need service center here in Philippines. Playbook ko hndi na mabuksan umiilaw lang yung power. 3 months na yun sa akin. di ko alam kung san ko papagawa. :((

    • ronald says:

      sir san mo na napgawa playbook mo..pareho tau..naopen k playbook ko pero wla ako makta sa screen pero pag connected hdmi ok nmn sya…please help me give some info san k nkpagpagwa..thanks

  18. Roderick E. Gallardo says:

    wala man lang sagot akong nabasa tungkol sa service center ng blackberry dito sa phil? bat ganun? di nila sinasagot kung san ba talaga merong service center ng bb, yugatech answer naman jan plsssssssss

  19. Michael Arcilla says:

    MicroWarehouse is one of the official licensed distributors here of BlackBerry phones (and the PlayBook as well, I think.) They are also an authorized service center, I believe. Their office is at #4 United Street, Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig. If your unit is warrantied, that’s wher eyou can take it.

    I’m not sure if they cover units not sold with their warranties, but when I used to own Palm products (Palm V and the Treo 650), they accepted my units for repair / replacement even if they were not sold with MicroWarehouse’s warranty.

    Hope this helps.

    • Roderick says:

      gud day po sir michael,ahm pwede po ba don ung bb phone ko na galing sa ibang country,bigay lang po kasi un sakin ng father ko galing alaska, zero left napo kasi ung mep code nung bb phone ko e, alam nyo po ba kung kaya nilang gawan ng paraan un tnx po.

  20. Michael Arcilla says:

    Try calling them at 6370485 or 6370474. Malay mo. :-)

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