updated 10:05 am EST, Fri November 25, 2011
RIM sees rare demand rush for Bold 9790 in Jakarta
The launch of the BlackBerry Bold 9790 in Indonesia's capital of Jakarta on Friday gave RIM a rare Apple-like level of demand that also took an unfortunate turn. A report from the event through the Jakarta Globe had up to 90 people face minor injuries like broken bones after a crush and queue jumping triggered by a rumor spread that the Pacific Place Mall store wouldn't have enough of the new smartphone to supply everyone. As many as 200 public and private security officers had to step in to restore order.
The country has been friendlier to the BlackBerry as a whole than most parts of the world, where Apple and Google's Android are taking over, but it triggered the queuing more commonly associated with an iPhone launch after RIM promised the first 1,000 phones at the equivalent of $260 off-contract, just half of what it would normally cost. Some had started lining up at 4PM the day before, again following a behavior not normally seen outside of Apple products.
RIM had taken to handing out red bands at first to guarantee access, but it eventually dropped this after it anticipated having enough supply. The company nonetheless triggered more problems after it shuttered the event early, at 1:30AM.
While marred by the injuries, the launch is valuable for RIM in showing that it can still command extreme demand in at least some areas. Its overall shrinking market share has triggered concerns that it mighthave trouble holding on at a broader level. The launch also helps explain the reason to create overlap between the Bold 9790 and the more upscale Bold 9900, since it gives those in less wealthy countries much of the same experience of the 9900 at a lower price. [larger image via Detikinet]