Indonesia demand for BlackBerry high despite launch snub

Indonesians are still clamoring for BlackBerry handsets despite not being one of the first six markets to receive the latest Z10 device, and resellers are marking up prices by up to 40 percent to capitalize on interest.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

Indonesian consumers' demand for the latest BlackBerry devices remain strong, and resellers of the Z10 device, which is only expected to hit the market in March this year, are taking advantage of the interest to hike retail prices by up to 40 percent. 

A report by tech news site Tech In Asia Monday noted "numerous people" selling BlackBerry's flagship smartphone via online marketplaces such as Kaskus and TokoBagus, with a handful of them getting their hands on the phones originally from the United Arab Emirates. Others entered Indonesia via Singapore, it added.


It mentioned an earlier report by Indonesian news site Detik, which cited a Telkomsel representative saying the unlocked Z10 will be launched officially in March and sold at a similar price as the Samsung Galaxy S3, or IDR 6.9 million (US$714).

The resellers, however, is making a sizeable profit by selling the devices for between IDR 10 million (US$1,034) and IDR 15 million (US$1,551), which is at least more than 40 percent above the official retail price, Tech In Asia noted.

A separate Detik report last Friday quoted one of the black market resellers as saying the Z10s are "selling like hot cakes", particularly in the city of Batam.

Demand from the Southeast Asian market is not surprising considering it has long been seen as a BlackBerry stronghold. However, it was omitted from the six initial launch markets for Blackberry Z10 and Q10. The six cities were New York, US; Toronto, Canada; London, UK; Paris, France; Dubai, UAE; and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Analysts previously told ZDNet Asia the BlackBerry 10 platform does offer a differentiated user experience but consumers remained unmoved, stating the revamped BlackBerry OS and devices are not enough to entice them to switch from their existing smartphones.


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