Canadian firm Research In Motion ( RIM ), the maker of the Blackberry smartphone, on Tuesday officially opened its Indonesian subsidiary, PT RIM Indonesia, but insisted it would will not build a data server in the country as required.
“The opening of RIM Indonesia is a milestone for our company as well as evidence of our long-term investment commitment in the country,” Gregory Wade, the company’s managing director for Southeast Asia, said.
RIM describes Indonesia as one of its most important markets in Southeast Asia and a strategic place for the company’s long-term investments. Indonesia had emerged as one of the most important market for RIM, not only due to its huge population and economic performance, but also due to the country’s appetite for new technology, Wade said.
RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said in a recorded statement that RIM Indonesia would be a key factor of RIM’s success in Southeast Asia. The Indonesian subsidiary, Wade continued, would support RIM’s sales and marketing activities in the country by recruiting local employees and working with local carriers and distributors.
“Our success in Indonesia is the result of solid cooperation among distributor. For that, I’d like to say thank you very much,” he told a press conference at Dharmawangsa hotel in Jakarta.
RIM earlier announced plans to set up 36 customer care centers across the country that would operate in late 2010 to support the 24-month warranty the company gave to Blackberry owners.
Wade said Blackberry had enjoyed growing popularity among smartphone users in the Indonesia because it provided a platform to accommodate the country’s huge appetite for social networking.
“[Indonesian customers] want products that can fulfill their personal needs, so I’m more than optimistic that our products will remain [leaders] in the market,” he said.
The International Data Corporation ( IDC ) said RIM’s shipments to Indonesia grew by 79 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of this year.
It also forecast that smartphone shipments to Indonesia would grow by 56.6 percent in 2010 compared to the same period last year.
Referring to the request by the Indonesian government that RIM build a data server in the country, the company said it would continuously “work with the government and comply with all prevailing regulations”.
The Indonesian government has threatened to close Blackberry services in the country if RIM rejects its request. The establishment of the data server would allow the government to supervise data security because it claims the devices’ data encryption system could be used as a cover for terrorist and other criminal activities.
— JP/ Rangga D. Fadillah