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    Vodafone launches Blackberry's touchscreen 'Storm'

    Mumbai (PTI): Telecom operator Vodafone Essar on Monday unveiled 'Blackberry Storm' in the country, the first touchscreen phone it has developed exclusively with Canada-based technology provider Research In Motion (RIM).

    "The market for smartphones in India is at a very nascent stage and growing rapidly. 'Blackberry Storm' takes the 3G experience a step forward," Vodafone Essar Director Marketing and New Business Harit Nagpal told PTI.

    Priced at Rs 27,990, the first "clickable" touchscreen smartphone from Blackberry, 'Storm' has been developed by RIM for exclusive distribution through Vodafone globally.

    With a touchscreen keypad, which can be done away with when not needed, 'Storm' gives a lot of space for visual experience, an advantage over earlier Blackberry models.

    "We received a tremendous response for Storm when it was launched in Europe a few months back, despite the recession. We hope that very many handsets will be lapped up in India when it hits the market on January 15," RIM Vice President (UK) Christoph Lingenthal said.

    Blackberry phones use encrypted data for transmitting e-mails through servers located outside the country.

    These phones came under the Department of Telecom's (DoT) scanner after the 26/11 terror attacks as regulatory bodies could not monitor the data, heightening security concerns.

    "RIM does not comment on confidential regulatory matters or speculation on such matters in any of the over 140 countries it operates in, and more so because this is about security. But we are working on a solution mutually agreed on with operators we work with," Lingenthal said.



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