08 September 2009
Indonesia 1 -- BlackBerry 0 (But Raking It In)
It would seem that Indonesia has won its little spat with Research In Motion (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry smartphones. The Indonesian government threatened to freeze (suspend) the issuance of licenses for new BlackBerry smartphone models until RIM set up an after sales service store in Indonesia. RIM chose to push the government on the issue and did not immediately comply with the directive to do so. The initial spat if you are interested was described here.
Good to its word, the Indonesian government instituted the freeze as threatened, and that suspension on the provision of licenses has now been lifted. It took two months or so, but RIM has established an after sales service center in Indonesia, specifically in Jakarta.
It was always likely that RIM would open an after sales service center somewhere in Indonesia. The numbers warranted it. At the end of 2008 there were about 100,000 BlackBerry owners in Indonesia. This number has climbed to some 500,000 presently and is expected to jump to more than 1,000,000 by the end of the year.
A bigger problem for RIM, and the alleged reason for stalling in opening an after sales service center is the large number of fake or copy BlackBerry devices available in the market. RIM was lobbying for tighter controls on fake goods as a pre-cursor to any service center. To all intents and purposes they did not win on that front.
However, even if 10% of the market is fake BlackBerry devices, then 900,000 real BlackBerry devices in the market would suggest that RIM is doing pretty well.
(Photo courtesy of The Jakarta Globe and Afriadi Hikmal)