File photo of BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen introducing the new Blackberry Classic smartphone during the launch event in New York in December 2014. (Reuters Photo/Brendan McDermid)

BlackBerry Classic Hits Indonesia, a One-Time Stronghold

BY :MUHAMAD AL AZHARI & TABITA DIELA

MARCH 26, 2015

Jakarta. BlackBerry’s attempt to revive the company’s dying brand Indonesia — perhaps the last stronghold of die-hard users outside of the US federal government — faltered on Thursday when the launch of its newest model, counter-intuitively named the “Classic,” met with decidedly mixed reviews.

Users slammed the Classic’s value proposition, saying its lackluster specifications hardly warranted the expensive price tag; others, however, cheered the good old days of the BlackBerry Bold are just what the business community needs.

The Canadian phone maker said in a statement on Thursday its “Classic in Black” became be available in Indonesia on Thursday, through its authorized distributor Teletama Arta Mandiri. The phone retails for Rp 5,599,000 ($430).

The new BlackBerry model is a lot like the old ones: It still has a Qwerty keyboard and a new operating system. This appeals, the company believes, to “productive people thriving on speed and accuracy.”

The BlackBerry boasts its new model has “three times faster browser, 60 percent more screen space and 50 percent longer battery life” than the Bold 9900.

The battery is not removable.

The BlackBerry Classic offers a 3.5-inch touch screen display, 294 dot per inch HD resolution and Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3.

Technology-wise, it has a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor, 2 Gigabytes (GB) RAM, 16GB of device storage (expandable by up to 128GB via uSD), and a 2MP front- and 8MP rear-camera.

BlackBerry has to compete with smartphone with that price range in Indonesia offering more sophisticated spec.

With a price at about Rp 5 million buyers at e-commerce site of Lazada.com can buy a new Android-based phone like Samsung C115 K-Zoom, that comes with Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex A7 & dual-core 1.7 GHz Cortex A15 and 20.7 MP rear-camera. With around Rp 6 million price, also at Lazada, users can also buy OPPO Find 7A, with the rear camera at 13 MP, and 5MP front camera with Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 processor.

Just a year ago, in May 2014, BlackBerry goes cheap to regain its marketshare in Indonesia. It introduced its low-cost, touchscreen Z3 smartphone and John S. Chen, the executive chairman and chief executive at the Canadian company came to the launching ceremony in Jakarta, marking the company’s serius attention to the market with 250 million population.

The BlackBerry Z3, Jakarta Edition — built exclusively for the Indonesian market — had hit shelves from May 15 with a price tag of Rp 2,199,000.

GlobeAsia

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