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Will BlackBerry see red?

Deepa Kurup


Red Chery offers data streaming technology in mobile phones

It will be cost-effective and make the pricey services affordable to average cell phone user


BANGALORE: Technology is a great leveller, they say. If that holds water, this ambitious attempt by a Madurai-based company to take on the global smart phone segment is likely to give market leader BlackBerry — shot to international fame when President Barack Obama refused to let go of his beloved gadget — a run for its money.

Developed and patented by AJ Square Consultancy, Red Chery is a mobile application service that offers data streaming technology in mobile phones, at no less than one-tenth of the existing price. A registered user will be able to receive emails from private services such as Gmail or Hotmail and corporate accounts, besides synchronising address books, alerts and even retrieving this information later. It also has enterprise solutions like CRM preloaded.

The company claims that the product, to be released in a few weeks, will be cost-effective and make the pricey services affordable to the average cell phone user. So, is cost the only USP that this rather wittily named product can boast of? Much more significant is the freedom it offers: in terms of being device, platform and network independent. Further, it caters to the low-end mobile user. It works on devices that have MIDP (Mobile Information Device Profile) as a minimum requirement, many of which start in the price range of Rs.3,000. “Compare this with the largely hand-set locked BlackBerry in which the device alone can cost up to ten times the amount, and it appears we are on to something truly revolutionary,” says Chairman and Managing Director of Red Chery Boaz Augustin.

“Revolutionary”

He told The Hindu that this “revolutionary product” would be the first step towards the larger goal of Global Service Amalgamation, a jargon used to describe the concept of bringing diverse services such as healthcare or education or email into one platform. “And equally important, for us, is accessibility. Our target is the mass, as opposed to the Crest. Even as we await 3G, in India even 2G technology is barely used effectively. Affordability could change all that.”

With the telecom sphere standing on the threshold of 3G technology, the 50-million-strong GPRS domestic user market is big. Red Chery services will be simple and accessible, the company claims. You get connected; register for a global control panel for the service on your handset, complete verification and you’re ready to go. While the product may carve a fresh market for itself, will it be able to eat a slice of BlackBerry’s pie or that of its flashy competitors like Nokia or HTC? “Being an Indian company we understand the market better. Also, global consumer psychology is slowly transforming from user experience towards solutions,” Mr. Augustin explains.

On the security issue, Red Chery will not face too many problems since the servers will be home-based. (The Department of Telecom had taken on BlackBerry when it found it could not monitor its servers). For its corporate clients, Internet Data Centres will be localised.

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