RIM’s Indonesia stronghold begins to show cracks as Android overtakes BlackBerry

RIM’s Indonesia stronghold begins to show cracks as Android overtakes BlackBerry

Indonesia is a key market for RIM, but the once globally dominant smartphone maker has suffered a blow in the country after the Google-owned Android platform overtook it as the leading smartphone operating system there, according to research from IDC.

Indonesia’s shipments of Android-powered devices in the second quarter of 2012 hit 52 percent, the analyst firm says, thanks to continued progress from Samsung, HTC and Sony. BlackBerry’s uncertainty over its upcoming BB10 devices is also responsible, as IDC’s Darwin Lie notes.

“The increase in shipments of Android-based phones in Indonesia is driven not just by its affordability but also the broad range of applications and growing popularity of touchscreens. The delay in the launch of BlackBerry 10, which is causing buyers to wait until 2013 for new models, has also contributed an impact to the change in OS preference,” Lie said.

Indonesia has a population of close to 250 million and, although smartphone penetration is current at a modest (but growing) rate, the country represents a significant market for RIM. The company showed its commitment to Indonesia when it held a global device launch there earlier this year and the Canadian firm remains the dominant smartphone maker, despite the change in order around operating systems.

However, with the winds of change blowing, it is likely that Samsung — which is the world’s biggest producer of mobile devices — will increasingly challenge RIM in Indonesia for its dominance in the long-term.

For now, according to market data from GfK — rather than IDC’s shipment volumes — BlackBerry remains the top choice in Indonesia. The research firm recently found that 53.5 percent of smartphones sold in Indonesia are BlackBerry devices.

In spite of global trends, IDC forecasts that feature phones will continue to dominate in Indonesia. Overall mobile phone shipments to the country grew 25 percent year-on-year (10 percent quarter-on-quarter), with smartphones numbers up 13 percent annually – despite a 6 percent quarterly slump.

Overall, it is expected that 7 million smartphones will be shipped to the country this year, thanks to a new focus on ‘affordable’ mid- and low-end devices. By contrast, 45 million feature phones are expected, buoyed by increased activity from local companies like Cross and MITO.

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Image via Flickr / Zallio


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