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Hello says it will focus on 3G BlackBerry sales

Hello says it will focus on 3G BlackBerry sales

HELLO, the mobile phone network operated by Kuala Lumpur-based Axiata, will discontinue sales of its 2G BlackBerry handsets to focus on sales of its 3G model Bold, CEO Simon Perkins said Monday.

The company has sold nearly 1,000 Pearl 8120 and Curve 8320 2G handsets, which are made by Canada-based firm Research in Motion (RIM), since launching at the end of April, Perkins said.

"Sales have been strong," he said, adding that Hello would not ship any more 2G models.

Perkins said Hello imported 200 Bold handsets for the end-of-July launch of its 3G BlackBerry service, and that another 1,000 were passing through Cambodian customs following importation from Canada.

"This model is very popular worldwide, if not the most popular of the BlackBerry smart phone range of products," Hello Brand manager Gary Foo said Monday.

The company sells the Bold handset for US$68 a month as part of a two-year BlackBerry service contract, he said.

Further stock orders on 3G handsets would be placed in the future, Perkins said, but he ruled out the introduction of the Storm model, a touch-screen RIM 3G handset, citing disappointing sales elsewhere in the region.

Credit Suisse last week raised its rating for RIM from "neutral" to "outperform" based on analysts' forecasts on growing demand for BlackBerry handsets.

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