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BlackBerry launches Z3 ‘Jakarta Edition’ smartphone for Indonesia

Indonesia is one the few markets where BlackBerry still has a decent number of customers, though even there its market share has been falling in recent years.

In an effort to keep consumers onside in the fast-developing Asian nation, the once mighty mobile maker is this week launching the Z3 ‘Jakarta Edition’, a handset tailored especially for the Indonesian market.

Priced at 2,199,000 Indonesia rupiah (about $190), the Foxconn-made phone – the first to launch under BlackBerry’s new partnership with the Taiwan-based manufacturing giant as well as the first release under the leadership of John Chen – will go on sale Thursday.

The new handset features a 5-inch, 960×540 display, dual-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm processor, 5-megapixel camera, and 8GB of memory expandable via its MicroSD card slot.

BlackBerry boss Chen said the new touchscreen phone “will extend the full capabilities of the BlackBerry 10 operating system version 10.2.1 experience for a new generation of customers in Indonesia.”

The Canadian company is offering Indonesian consumers who buy the handset exclusive content for the device, including a unique set of BBM stickers featuring local characters by an acclaimed Indonesian illustrator. Users will also have access to local BBM channels for updates from communities, opinion leaders, and others, the company said in a release.

In addition, the company is hoping to tempt die-hard fans of the brand – presumably a few still remain in the country – with a limited-edition version of the Z3 featuring the inscription “Jakarta” on the back of the new phone.

While Indonesia is one of BlackBerry’s better-performing markets, its share there is nevertheless on the decline as it struggles against the growing popularity of affordable Android phones. According to the WSJ, BlackBerry enjoyed a 43 percent share of the Indonesian mobile market back in 2011, though that figure slumped to just 14 percent last year.

Chen and his team will be hoping the new Z3 can win back some of those users who’ve ditched BlackBerry for rival devices in recent years, though going by recent form, the company will do well to even maintain its current user base in the country.

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