Buoyed by the passionate response from Indonesian buyers, Canada-based Research In Motion ( RIM ) plans to soon open a branch in the country, which it said, has become one of the company’s most important markets in the world.
RIM Southeast Asia managing director Gregory Wade said in Jakarta on Thursday that the branch office would be set up to cope with the sharp increase in the sales in the country and to develop more locally-based Blackberry applications.
Currently, Wade said, RIM worked together with several local application developers and higher education institutions to develop wireless technology and applications that could fulfill the needs of the country’s Blackberry users. However, he did not mention which institutions and developers.
“Indonesian customers are hungry for technology and information. They have high appetite for social media [like Facebook and Twitter]. We are confident to compete with other smartphone producers to fulfilling the needs of this country’s consumers,” he told The Jakarta Post after the launching of the company’s new product, Blackberry Torch, at the Ritz Carlton hotel in South Jakarta.
The International Data Corporation ( IDC ) data revealed that the Canadian firms’s shipments to Indonesia grew by 79 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of this year. It forecast that the smartphone shipments to Indonesia will grow by 56.6 percent in 2010 compared to the same period last year.
In the second quarter, the Canada-based company recorded that 115 million Blackberry smartphones were shipped around the world. The number of global subscribers reached 50 million with a year-on-year growth of 56 percent. And the interesting fact is that 52 percent of the company’s revenues come from outside of North America.
Blackberry retains growing popularity among Indonesia’s smartphone users despite a dispute with the government over data security. These security concerns have come up in a number of countries
The Indonesian government has threatened to shutdown Blackberry services in the country if RIM rejects the request of the government to build a data server in Indonesia to enable the government supervise the data’s security.
Besides the concerns expressed by Indonesia, countries like India, Saudi Arabia and the United
Arab Emirates have also had similar concerns and have considered banning Blackberry services on
the grounds that the devices’ data encryption system could be used as a cover for terrorist and criminal activities. ( rdf )