Alcatel-Lucent and RIM Announce Strategic Agreement for the Distribution of BlackBerry Smartphones in China
Paris, France and Waterloo, Ontario - Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced that the companies have expanded their partnership with the signing of a strategic agreement for the distribution of BlackBerry® smartphones in China. The first smartphone offered to Chinese enterprise customers through this agreement will be the 8700 model.
The announcement coincides with the first shipment of smartphones to distribution networks in China and availability for Chinese enterprise customers in key markets is expected to begin later this year. Alcatel-Lucent achieved certification of the 8700 model for the Chinese market through partnership with TCL Communications, a major mobile device manufacturer in China that holds the Alcatel brand for mobile handsets. RIM and TCL Communications are showcasing BlackBerry smartphones at the PT EXPO COMM CHINA 2007 show in Beijing this week.
“This strategic partnership perfectly matches Alcatel-Lucent’s global presence and strength in the Chinese market with the global awareness and popularity of RIM’s BlackBerry brand,” said Frederic Rose, President of Alcatel Shanghai Bell and President of Alcatel-Lucent’s Asia Pacific activities. “This agreement strengthens the distribution frame agreement that Alcatel-Lucent and RIM signed last year covering Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia and now extends to China.”
“Following our launch of the BlackBerry service with China Mobile, we are very pleased to now enter this smartphone distribution agreement with Alcatel-Lucent and Alcatel Shanghai Bell. Our partnership with Alcatel-Lucent has been very productive in other regions and has been key in our progress to import smartphones into the Chinese market,” said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO of Research In Motion. “The BlackBerry platform offers robust and unmatched benefits for enterprise customers that wish to enhance mobile productivity and competitive advantage. We look forward to building on the early interest and momentum we are experiencing in China with both multinational and domestic corporations.”
RIM continues to expand its global distribution and the industry-leading BlackBerry solution is now available from over 300 carriers around the world.
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