A model holds the newly launched Blackberry Z10 at a shopping mall in Jakarta. Photo: AFP / Bay Ismoyo
BlackBerry on Friday launched its new Z10 smartphone in Indonesia, the company's third-largest market as it rapidly loses ground elsewhere to rivals such as Apple and Samsung.
Dozens of buyers queued outside the upmarket Central Park shopping centre in the capital Jakarta from 07:00 am to snap up the new device, launched in Britain and Canada earlier this year and set for a launch in the US next week.
The Z10 is seen as critical to Canada-based BlackBerry as it seeks to revive its sagging fortunes and regain lost market share from Apple and other smartphone makers such as Samsung.
BlackBerry users have dropped in numbers in many of its key markets, but sales are still robust in Indonesia, which was the smartphone maker's biggest market outside the United States and Britain last year.
However Google Android overtook BlackBerry as the most popular operating system in Indonesia in the second quarter of 2012 with more than 50 percent of the market share, the US-based International Data Corporation (IDC) said.
Blackberry still has "many loyalists (in the country) who will still run at the first sight of the (Z10)", Sudev Bangah, the head of IDC's Indonesia operations, told AFP.
"With the launch of the Z10, we feel that this market share is going to pick up a little bit more, however not significantly (enough) to offset the Android," Bangah said.
Hengki Marzuki, 36, who tried to sneak into the Central Park shopping centre before it opened, walked out by mid-morning with a gleaming Z10, his second BlackBerry device for which he shelled out seven million rupiah ($722).
"He's been waiting to buy this phone since January and he sold his Samsung Android phone to buy this," Marzuki's wife, Dega Fitri, told AFP.
The launch comes as Samsung unveiled a slim, feature-rich Galaxy S4 on Thursday. The South Korean consumer electronics giant said the device would roll out in 155 countries in late April.