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TELECOMS

Blackberry looks to crack Swedish smartphone market

Canadian telecom giant RIM is trying to break into the Scandinavian market and make consumers choose the Blackberry instead of the highly popular iPhone.

Blackberry looks to crack Swedish smartphone market

“It is a very tough market, but we love challenges”, said Paul Lucier, European Manager of RIM, to news agency TT.

It is unusual that a telecom manufacturer that’s not very well established and has its own type of operating system is trying to break in to the market this way.

Especially since Apple has gained such strong ground in the area since the release of the iPhone on the Scandinavian market.

However, most Swedes may only have heard the name Blackberry in films or on TV, but in several other European countries the company is amongst the top-brands of smart-phone manufacturers.

The Blackberry is the most common type of mobile phone in both the UK and the Netherlands, according to TT.

One of the main sales pitches for the phone is that all data traffic goes through the company’s own server, making it a safer network in comparison to other brands, especially in terms of encrypting data.

This has also helped making Blackberry the brand of choice at US authorities as well as the US military and Nato.

But there is another prominent feature to Blackberry, which may well make a difference for consumers.

Most of the Blackberry mobile phones still have keys on the handset, rather than touch-screens.

“Many mobile phone users today seem to have to compromise when they use a touch-screen mobile. I know for sure there is a large number of people who prefer using normal keys on the handset”, Lucier told TT.

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MOBILE PHONES

Sweden’s mobile phone-free day is a relic, but still calls for consideration

Saturday saw Sweden’s annual Mobile-Free Day, an initiative which began in 2002 in an attempt to give people peace and quiet and a break from calls and texts.

Sweden’s mobile phone-free day is a relic, but still calls for consideration
Photo: tatsianama/Depositphotos

But the day has fallen from public awareness in more recent years.

“(Using mobiles) is so integrated into our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean it always will be in future,” said Jonas Engman, ethnologist at the Nordic Museum in Stockholm.

Sweden introduced a mobile phone-free day in 2002, encouraging the public to turn off their cells in an effort to protect the general audio environment.

As such, the roots of the day go back to the beginning of the mobile era, in which everybody having a device in their pockets was still a relatively new phenomenon.

Nine out of ten people in Sweden currently own a mobile telephone, according to a 2018 study. Of those, between 88 and 96 percent use their phones daily.

That falls to 74 percent for the 56-65 years age group, and 62 percent for people aged 66-75.

“There’s a discussion in society as to whether it’s beneficial to keep looking at and checking one’s mobile phone all the time. I think it’s part of everyday life for people in urban areas, and that is not actually a problem” Engman said.

Living without a mobile is something most people should be able to do, the researcher said, even if they might not be prepared to take on the challenge without warning — even just for a single day.

“I think there are many people, not just children and young people, but many generations who find it hard to put their phones down. So it’s good that we (still) have this day to highlight this,” he said.

READ ALSO: Five things to remember when getting a mobile phone in Sweden

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