Less than 48 hours after the United Arab Emirates announced they would begin banning BlackBerry service on October 11 comes word from it’s neighbor to the west that they, too, would be banning BlackBerry service but sooner rather than later.
The Communications and Information Technology Commission of Saudi Arabia threw the hammer down on local providers Mobily, STC and Zain after a request to bring BlackBerry service within regulatory requirements was not met. RIM refuses to grant access to encrypted data to any one government and faces possible bans from other countries including India.
The install base in both Middle Eastern countries is estimated at less than 1.5 million units, which is a drop in the bucket for RIM who happens to be the world’s second largest mobile phone provider behind Nokia.
In light of yesterday’s somewhat underwhelming Torch reveal this is only a small concern for RIM who has dropped marketshare in the US and faces potential mass exodus’ from current owners who are eyeing the latest iPhone and current crop of Android devices.