Research In Motion opened its first BlackBerry retail store in China on Wednesday, with the hope of boosting the smartphone’s presence in the mainland market.
The company calls the Beijing store an “experience center” that will give visitors a better opportunity to use the devices.
“The key point is to attract users to the BlackBerry smart phone and stimulate purchases,” said Natalie Wang, a company spokeswoman.
BlackBerry phones have been sold in China since 2006. But the selling was done through third-party distributors, where the devices were simply sold over a counter top, Wang said. “The consumers couldn’t really get a total experience out of buying the phone,” she added.
Currently the store is only selling two phone models, the BlackBerry 8910 Curve and the BlackBerry 8310 Curve. Both of the phones are connected to the China Mobile network.
RIM plans to open future retail BlackBerry stores in China, Wang said, but did not provide details.