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Category: Cell Phones

Saudi Arabia: BlackBerry is Blocked

Written on August 04, 2010 by Charles Bass

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Saudi Arabia pulls the trigger to shut BlackBerry. Too bad for BlackBerry Torch.

A threat for the world’s trusty smartphone has shown up in a frenzied debate between (makers of ) and several governments. India and Kuwait objected on the inaccessible messages, and just last week, UAE threatened to block Messenger, email and browsing on Oct. 11.

Last Tuesday, the company released an official statement with regard to user data access.

“The BlackBerry security architecture for enterprise customers is based on a symmetric key system whereby the customer creates their own key and only the customer ever possesses a copy of their encryption key. RIM does not possess a “master key”, nor does any “back door” exist in the system that would allow RIM or any third party to gain unauthorized access to the key or corporate data.”

’s threatening words came on the wrong time for RIM. The announcement came after the unveiling event of BlackBerry , the answer to ’s dominance in the smartphone market. The phone is a multi-touch device with 48×360 pixel display and a 5 megapixel cam, and is equipped with slide-out keyboard.

During the launch event, an executive of RIM predicted that few governments would make good on their threats. “I believe they’ll have trouble pulling the trigger to shut down BlackBerry,” Chief Officer David Yach told Reuters. “Most governments in the world rely on BlackBerry.”

Analysts covering Tuesday’s drama think that RIM’s stake falls more on the new Torch smartphone than on the Middle East’s data accessibility issues. According to Reuters, Charter Equity Research analyst Ed Snyder believes that “the success or failure of the new smartphone is far more important for RIM’s immediate fortunes than the Middle East security issues.”

According to the new data from Nielsen, 29% of BlackBerry users wanted to switch to iPhone OS than stay with BlackBerry. While a devastating 2% would want to do otherwise. NASDAQ shares of RIM were 2.5% down at the market. It seems that the blame goes for the disappointment on Torch and not on the government scare.

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