Hastings Singh, Managing Director, RIM South Asia (Photo: Stratcom)

At the press conference of RIM’s  latest release of BlackBerry Curve 9220 in Jakarta on April 25, RIM Managing Director for South Asia, Hasting Singh claimed that BlackBerry is the number one smart phone brand in Indonesia, accounting for 12 million out of around 77 million users worldwide. This figure was cited from surveys conducted by two market research firms: Australian research company, Roy Morgan Research and GfK Group.

Roy Morgan reported that in the third quarter last year, BlackBerry delivered the highest level of customer experience when compared with other devices. Market research company, GfK Group which reported the device recorded the most selling smart phone in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

The BlackBerry Curve 9220 is by far the company’s most affordable BlackBerry 7 OS smart phone offered for Indonesians, following last week’s launch in India. Slightly different with India where pool of popular apps – utilities, games and others – are freely available for download until a period of time.

BlackBerry Curve 9220’s features

The phone is built with a 2.44 inch display screen, 800MHz processor, 512MB RAM, dedicated BBM key and a pre-installed set of the most social apps: Facebook, Twitter and Social Feeds. With a longer lasting battery life, users can have up to 7 hours of talk time or 28 hours of music playback. A downside of the phone is that it comes without 3G but, users can connect to the internet with the phone’s built-in Wi-Fi.

Available in the market starting from April 25 with a starting price of IDR 1.99 million (US$ 216), BB fans can start grabbing them from retail stores distributed by PT (Teletama Artha Mandiri, PT. Selular Shop and PT. Comtech Selular). “With the arrival of BlackBerry Davis and announcement of Armstrong really soon, Gemini’s price will drop, from IDR 1.899 million (about US$ 206) into USD 1.599 million (US$ 174),” said Djatmiko Wardoyo, Global Teleshop President Director.

With low-cost Android powered devices like Huawei and ZTE jumping into the African and Asian bandwagon, the BlackBerry maker is facing stiff competition in emerging markets such as Middle East, South Africa and South America. In the case of Indonesia, the situation is more or less pretty much similar. BlackBerry in the country is head-to-head with uprising Android and staggering iPhone.

Despite all the negative views on BlackBerry, Indonesia  (still) holds one of the Waterloo-based company’s biggest share of wallet because the demand keeps growing. “We love the market here, it’s something we are going to be focusing through 2012,” Singh added.

Additionally, some of us might have heard of their plans to open around 4,000 outlets across Indonesia by February next year (as announced at the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona last month). This includes dedicated stores, store-in-stores and kiosks. All of a sudden, Indonesia is designated as a stepping stone for expanding in the Southeast Asia region.