Tag: southeast asia

BlackBerry Pearl 3G Launches in Indonesia

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We have talked a lot about RIM’s presence in Indonesia and the success of BlackBerry in Southeast Asia. The powerful and professional BlackBerry brand goes a long way when selling young Indonesians on the smartphone. Also, in Southeast Asia, smartphones are an effective means of getting Internet connectivity where land lines are difficult to implement.

Today RIM announced the BlackBerry Pearl 3G launch in Indonesia. There doesn’t seem to be any mention of price or carrier availability, but these announcements should be coming shortly.

Until then, read our review of the BlackBerry Pearl 3G.

The challenges and opportunities RIM faces in Southeast Asia

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Inside the Roxy Mas IT Mall. Roxy Mas is the largest cell phone shopping mall in Indonesia. Hundreds of shops sell second-hand phones. [Courtesy]

Indonesia comprises 17,508 islands in Southeast Asia and has an estimated population of around 237 million people, making it the fourth most populous country in the world.

Back in 2004, RIM began selling BlackBerry devices through the country’s main provider Indosat and growth has been tremendous. In 2008, BlackBerry sales rose 550% year-on-year. There are now more than 350,000 users across the region, a number that could reach 1 million by the end of this year, according to Marc Einstein, an industry manager at research and consulting firm Frost and Sullivan.

While 1 million may seem insignificant compared to the estimated 28 million BlackBerry users worldwide, the growth rate and potential are enough to make Indonesia a very lucrative market.

While we’re on the subject of smartphone growth, the iPhone has been fairing very poorly in Indonesia. In developing countries and countries with a smaller GDP, price point is key. The iPhone doesn’t have the price flexibility that the BlackBerry does and therefore has seen only around 15,000 users in Indonesia, a relatively insignificant number.
Continue reading about the opportunities and challenges faced by RIM in Indonesia