Canadian Research In Motion launched two of its latest handsets, BlackBerry Bold 9790 and BlackBerry Curve 9380, in Jakarta on Tuesday night, as a token of appreciation for the increasing number of BlackBerry service users in Indonesia.
“These two new products will be available in the market starting next week,” said RIM’s co-chief executive officer, Jim Balsillie, whose visit to the country was kept private until the launch event on Tuesday night.
He said he was surprised to see the significant growth of BlackBerry in Indonesia.
The subscribers of “BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS),” a service provisioned through a mobile phone service provider, has multiplied by a factor of 10 in the last two years, while around 85 percent of Blackberry users in Indonesia have activated BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service.
On the sidelines of the event, RIM’s regional managing director for Asia Pacific, Gregory Wade, said Reseach firm IDC estimated that by the end of this year, Blackberry’s market share in Indonesia would be 42 percent.
According to IDC data, the annual shipment of BlackBerry products to Indonesia would be close to 4 million by end of this year, he told the Jakarta Globe.
“By 2015, the annual shipment of BlackBerry smartphones to Indonesia would reach 9.7 million, in front of Android and Windows mobile smartphones. We are very optimistic about it.”
Wade said the great thing about Southeast Asia’s largest market was the large base of growing middle class, which is estimated to reach 150 million people by 2015. Indonesia’s economy, meanwhile, was estimated to grow 6.5 percent this year, due to strong domestic spending and investment.
“The Mobile penetration rate is still fairly low and we have already become the majority player, so we welcome this,” he said.
To achieve this expansion goal, he said distribution of products through mobile carriers, distributors, retailers, and application development would be crucial components.
The Canadian company would open the second BlackBerry lifestyle store in Southeast Asia at Kelapa Gading Mall in North Jakarta on Wednesday, to enhance its “retail look and feel.”
“[Jim Balsillie] is so excited about Indonesia. He is enthusiastic about the entrepreneurial drive, the innovator and the apps development here,” Wade said.
“Also, [Balsillie] is impressed with Indonesia’s leadership in terms of applications and social networking. He believes that Indonesia is one of the best places in the world for social networking application development,” he added.
Beside launching its latest products on Tuesday, RIM also introduced its newly appointed country director for RIM Indonesia, Rohilesh Singh.
He will be responsible for RIM’s operations in Indonesia. Andrew Cobham, who was introduced as RIM Indonesia’s president director last year, was said to have taken another role in the company.