Unlocked BlackBerry phones come to India

Monday, February 2, 2009, 12:53 by Tech Correspondent

Unlocked BlackBerry phones are in India now. Research in Motion, (RIM) the Canadian manufacturer of BlackBerry smartphones has decided to sell unlocked BlackBerry phones in India.

What are unlocked Blackberrys? Blackberry phones across the world are sold through network operators – like Verizon, AT&T, Cingular etc in the US. These are locked Blackberrys. It means that if you have a Blackberry which you bought from, say Verizon, it is locked to Verizon. You cannot use it with another operator, say A&T.

In India, so far Blackberry phones were sold only through mobile service operators – Airtel, Vodafone (Hutch), Tata Indicom and Reliance Communications. These were all locked handsets, which means if you have a Blackberry bought from Airtel, you cannot use it with Vodafone, or any other operator.

This ‘locking’ of Blackberrys has been a major hurdle to Blackberry’s growth in India. Unlike a Nokia or a Sony Ericsson or a Samsung mobile phone which you could use with any operator, a Blackberry user would be tied to his mobile operator – which proved to be a disincentive to the spread of the smartphone.

Blackberrys will be distributed in India by Redington India, a leading logistics operator. These unlocked Blackberry phones can be used with any mobile operator – even with Idea, MTNL, Spice, BSNL etc.

However, buying an unlocked BlackBerry alone from your friendly neighbourhood electronics outlet does not mean that you will be able to make full use of its smartphone features. While Airtel, Idea, Tata and Reliance offer Blackberry services, the others don’t. To be able to make full use of your Blackberry, the mobile operator must start providing BlackBerry services, wherein your email is linked to the Blackberry server, which fetches email in the fastest way through the most user-friendly interface.

With RIM offering unlocked phones in India, one can pick from a range of Blackberrys including the popular BlackBerry Pearl (models 8100, 8110, 8120, 8800), BlackBerry Pearl Flip (8200) BlackBerry Curve (8300, 8310, 8320), BlackBerry Bold (9000), BlackBerry Storm, BlackBerry 8820 (GSM) and BlackBerry 8830 (World Edition:GSM-CDMA).

Those want to buy unlocked BlackBerrys can approach electronics shops like Tata’s Croma and online outlets like Essar’s Mobile Store.

Estimated prices of locked and unlocked Blackberry phones in India

BlackBerry Pearl 8110 (unlocked)        21990
BlackBerry Bold 9000 (unlocked) 34990
BlackBerry Curve 8300 (unlocked)        24990
BlackBerry Curve 8320 (unlocked)        24990
BlackBerry Storm (unlocked)             27990
BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8200 (unlocked)   21990
BlackBerry Pearl 8120   (unlocked)      24990
BlackBerry Curve 8310 (unlocked)        24990
BlackBerry 8800 (Airtel locked)         29990
BlackBerry Pearl 8100 (unlocked)        21990
BlackBerry Curve 8310 (Vodafone locked) 24990
BlackBerry Pearl 8120 (Vodafone locked) 24990
BlackBerry 8800 (Vodafone locked)       29990
BlackBerry Pearl 8100 (Vodafone locked) 21990

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  1. Pravs said on Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 10:16

    As mentioned in the article about the unlocked blackberry’s, I think some unlocked models are not available with any of the outlets like Croma & The mobile store specially Blackberry Storm. Finally, the same model is only with Vodafone service and not with Airtel, as I am carrying the same. Do let me know if the same is available anywhere in Mumbai. I have provided my email id.

  2. jamshed siddiquee said on Sunday, February 14, 2010, 19:27

    i am interested in blackberry storm so let me know its price and destination in mumbai.

  3. Stark Designs said on Thursday, September 30, 2010, 6:03

    I am looking for a realy cheap black berry model like you get in overstock.com. You can easliy get them at 3000 RS . So grab one and stop buying this unlocked ones of Idea , Airtel and whatever it is.

  4. abhinav said on Saturday, January 15, 2011, 19:49

    Will a blackberry torch 9800 bought from US california work in India with an airtel connection??