Crowds queue for BlackBerry in Indonesia

2014-05-20 10:39
A Blackberry Z3 smartphone is shown by a model during its launch in Jakarta. (Achmad Ibrahim, AP)

A Blackberry Z3 smartphone is shown by a model during its launch in Jakarta. (Achmad Ibrahim, AP)

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Cape Town - Early sales indicate a strong start for BlackBerry in Indonesia where the new Z3 went on sale on Friday.

In a mirror of Apple iPhone launch events, crowds gathered to snap up the latest version of the phone from a company under pressure due to declining market share.

BlackBerry blogger Eric Lai said that at launch venues around Jakarta, the Z3 was sold out on Friday and posted pictures of crowds in shopping malls to buy the new BlackBerry.

Indonesia is one of the strongest BlackBerry markets, but even there the brand has been under pressure because of the rise of Android powered smartphones.

BlackBerry launched the new 13cm model in Indonesia despite shifting company strategy to a software services firm as the popular BBM or BlackBerry Messenger has migrated to become a cross-platform application.

The company has also priced the Z3 aggressively at $200 and it is not yet clear at what price the device will launch in SA.

Industry tracker IDC says BlackBerry's market share peaked in Indonesia in 2011 at about 43% and remained healthy in 2012 only to suffer a collapse in 2013, when it fell to around 13%.

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