BlackBerry in International Markets: Balancing Business Interests and Host Nations' Security Concerns

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : BSTR391 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 600;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 600 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


International Business / International Management / Business Ethics
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 2007-2010
Pub Date : 2011
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Research In Motion
Industry : Consumer Electronics, Smartphones
Countries : Global, India, Asia, Middle East


This case study discusses Research In Motion's (RIM, maker of BlackBerry smartphone) dilemma of striking a balance between its business interests and the security concerns of governments across the world. In 2010, the UAE government imposed a ban on the BlackBerry and created a furor in countries like India, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, etc., as well. The governments of these countries considered the phone a national security threat due to the strong encryption built into the design of its system that blocked security agencies from tracking communications carried over these devices. This encryption system was developed by RIM to guarantee customers' privacy - a major unique selling proposition (USP)

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for the company. The case study enables a discussion on the remedial measures available for RIM to answer such security concerns without compromising on privacy.


To understand the various issues and challenges facing a company in international markets.

To understand the controversy regarding BlackBerry usage and also to debate why this controversy is more prominent in Asia and the Middle East.

To analyze the remedial measures available to RIM in addressing the national security concerns and its business interests effectively

To understand the strategic lessons from Blackberry episode for MNCs in general and for technology and telecom companies in particular


  Page No.
BlackBerry in International Markets... 1
About Rim 1
The Blackberry Controversy And Rim's Remedial Measures 3
Road Ahead 10
Exhibits 12


Internationalization, International Business, International Management, Home nation, Host nation, Customers privacy, Unique selling proposition (USP), International Security Laws, Communications Security, Ethics, Smartphone, BlackBerry, Research In Motion (RIM), India, Middle East

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