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RIM leaps into retailing: Raises alarm for cellphone retailers

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By setting up a 2,000-square-foot outlet in Detroit, Research In Motion Limited (RIM), a Canadian wireless device company, has set its feet in the world of retailing. The company is best known as the developer of the BlackBerry handheld communication device.

According to sources, this is RIM’s partnered venture with the US cellphone retail outlet Wireless Giant.

Wireless Giant’s vice-president of corporate marketing, Todd Shaya, informed that the store will be retailing BlackBerry phones, accessories, add-on software applications and service plans from a number of American networks, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

In a statement, Mark Guibert, RIM’s vice-president of corporate marketing, voiced his satisfaction in supporting the store. “We are very pleased to support this unique store that offers one-stop shopping for BlackBerry handsets, software, accessories and services,” he said.

However, the company is not looking forward to any immediate expansion drive as they are in favour of observing the scenario before taking any decision. Shaya was quick to point out that the store is intended as a one-off and a decision about future locations will come after an evaluation of how the concept worked.

According to sources, the venture is a part of RIM’s efforts to expand its business beyond the corporate world and introduce more customer-friendly features like music players.

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