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  • Motorola for BlackBerry Alternatives; in Talks with UAE.

    Published on August 10, 2010

    US mobile phone major Motorola is holding talks with telecom operators of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to offer alternatives to BlackBerry, whose key features face a ban in the Gulf nation in October due to security concerns, a local news website reported on Monday.

    “We are in active talks with both Etisalat and Du for our products to offer as alternatives,” Raed Hafez, Motorola’s portfolio director for Middle East, Asia Pacific and International Distribution, was quoted as saying by Emirates 24/7. Etisalat and Du are the UAE’s two major telecom services providers.

    But he refused to provide any time frame for the conclusion of the negotiations with the companies, the report said.

    Motorola’s Droid and Apple’s iPhone are believed to be among the top rivals of BlackBerry in smartphones. Thanks to the popularity of Droid X, Motorola’s profit in the second quarter of this year rose to 162 million U.S. dollars, or 7 cents per share, from 26 million dollars in the same period of 2009, according to the report.

    The U.S. firm, which launched Android-based handsets Motorola Milestone and Milestone XT720 earlier this year, plans to launch eight more models in the UAE in 2010, Hafez said, adding that in all, it will launch 20 new handsets worldwide. Android is an operating system developed by Google for mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablet computers and netbooks.

    On Aug. 1, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said that due to “judicial, social and national security concerns, ” BlackBerry’s Messenger, e-mail and Web browsing services will be suspended from Oct. 11 in the UAE, which has some 500,000 BlackBerry users, thus becoming the first country in the world to announce the ban on key functions of the device.

    Last Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States and the UAE will hold talks on BlackBerry use in the wake of the deadline set by the TRA.