It’s for you: BlackBerry’s managing director for South Asia, Hastings Singh, displays the new BlackBerry Z10 series during a launch in Jakarta on Monday. The new BlackBerry will sell for Rp 6.99 million (US$713) per unit. JP/Nurhayati
BlackBerry announced on Monday that the BlackBerry Z10 — its flagship BlackBerry 10-based smartphone — will hit shelves on March 15 after meeting all the country’s regulatory, network and market requirements.
Hastings Singh, BlackBerry South Asia vice president and managing director, said that he was “always looking to increase [BlackBerry] market share” through the launch of new smartphones.
“The Indonesian market is the most active for BlackBerry in Asia Pacific and is one of the most important BlackBerry markets in the world,” he told The Jakarta Post at a press meeting.
Quoting data from research firm, GfK, he further added that BlackBerry was the leading smartphone in the domestic market, with an approximately 50 percent of the smartphone market share.
It is estimated that, based on operating systems, the BlackBerry platform market share is to slip by two points to 35 percent this year as Windows move up by seven points to 9 percent. Android, a platform utilized by foreign and local brands, maintain control at 53 percent albeit a three-point slip, data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) suggests.
Singh added that BlackBerry took into consideration the fulfillment of regulatory processes, device testing and “internal launch prioritization” on pinpointing the release date of the smartphones.
“Whenever a device that has a radio comes to market in any country in the world, the device needs to be tested and then approved in order to be able to be sold. Smartphones are no exception,” Hastings.
The BlackBerry Z10, and a QWERTY model, the Q10, were officially unveiled on Jan. 30 in New York, the US, after more than a years delay, which the company attributed to their wish to fortify the product.
In the Southeast Asian region, the BlackBerry Z10 has subsequently been announced in India, Malaysia and Singapore before its debut on the Indonesian market.
Hastings added that BlackBerry enlisted PT Teletama Artha Media, PT Comtech Cellular and PT Surya Citra Multimedia to distribute the device to more than 2,000 point of sales.
“The [start of sales] will be consistent across all of our BlackBerry Lifestyle stores, store-in-store formats as well as modern and traditional channel locations across cities in Indonesia,” he said.
The official price of the BlackBerry Z10 is Rp 6.99 million (US$713).
Analysts have pointed out that the price point was considerably up market, clustering the smartphone with the latest Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy series. Indonesia, however, is largely into affordable smartphones.
However, Hastings said that BlackBerry would release five more devices, including the BlackBerry Q10, which would run on the BlackBerry 10 platform, this year in addition to the “premium” BlackBerry Z10.
He added that these devices, which include full touch and QWERTY versions, would carry “multiple prices”, including those falling within the medium price range.
“We have not released details about timing or cost,” he noted.
Djatimiko Wardoyo, the spokesperson for PT Erajaya Swasembada, the parent company of PT Teletama Artha Mandiri, added that the company would offer the BlackBerry Z10 for pre-sale through the company’s web site.
“The pre-order period will start tomorrow [Tuesday],” he said.