China Telecom (CHA.NYSE, 0728.HK) will begin selling Research in Motion’s (RIM.TSX, RIMM.NASDAQ) Blackberry Storm in a bid against China Unicom’s (CHU.NYSE, 600050.SH, 0762.HK) exclusive Apple (AAPL.NASDAQ) iPhone, Bloomberg reported. Beginning Monday, China Telecom will offer the Storm to business users in 16 of China’s 31 provinces. Unicom began offering the iPhone in October of 2009, and Apple’s Chinese sales have reached almost US$1.3 billion. However, in a market in which SMS is more popular as a means of communication than e-mail, RIM and China Telecom are expected to face an uphill battle to attract smartphone users. RIM already offers the older Blackberry 8700 model through China Mobile (CHL.NYSE, 0941.HK).
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