News      |      Events

BlackBerry maker to offer Facebook and Twitter in Saudi Arabia

The maker of the BlackBerry smartphone plans to roll out services to support Facebook and Twitter in Saudi Arabia after sales in the kingdom more than doubled last year.

Neither of the social media sites are currently supported in Saudi Arabia by Canada ‘s Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry device, which has been losing share in the US , among other markets. But business is booming for the company across the Middle East , where sales grew 140 per cent in the year to last August, according to company data. Saudi Arabia reported 250 per cent growth over the same period.

“Here in the kingdom the service is limited to BlackBerry messenger and email currently and we expect to roll out the full browsing services, Twitter, Facebook in the next couple of months,” said Patrick Spence, the managing director of global sales and regional marketing at RIM.

Thorsten Heins, a former Siemens AG executive who has risen steadily through RIM’s upper management ranks since joining the Canadian company in late 2007, took over as CEO on Saturday, RIM said on Sunday.

The shift ended the two-decade long partnership of Lazaridis and Balsillie atop a once-pioneering technology company that now struggles against Apple and Google. 

While the company’s business faces increasing competitive headwinds from rival smartphone makers in other markets, it is expecting this year to be “big” in the UAE and Saudi Arabia .