RIM to step up Asian operations

Research in Motion will add new carriers in fast growing emerging markets, and does not yet see an adverse impact from a widening global financial crisis, a Reuters report said.

The Reuters report also quoted RIM co-chief executive Jim Balsillie saying that RIM is betting that new product launches will fuel growth for the rest of the year and beyond, despite a slowdown in the US economy, and is looking at setting up manufacturing and logistics operations in India.

'No matter how much economic challenge there is, how many people do you know that have given up their mobile‾' Balsillie said at the launch of the BlackBerry Bold smartphone in India's financial hub.

'But there's clearly got to be a point where there is an impact. Macro-economic factors have gotten all the more turbulent in the last week, and maybe it will come to that tipping point,' he said, declining to say if the company stood by its guidance for the second quarter and for the rest of the year.

RIM in June posted first-quarter earnings that fell just short of analyst estimates, and provided a muted second quarter outlook. But the company expects what could be its strongest second half ever, with several new product launches.

RIM has been pushing deeper into the retail market to cut its reliance on its mainstay business customers. New applications and content in markets like India will help do that, Balsillie said.

'China's strengths are its scale and manufacturing, while India has a creative, dynamic workforce that can create wireless solutions,' said Balsillie, who was dressed in a traditional Indian tunic.

RIM was 'aggressively developing a made-in-India strategy,' he said, to make tailored products that would contribute to a less expensive manufacturing and design cycle.