This Mall Had So Many Consumers Hungry for BlackBerrys That Hundreds of Riot Police Filled The Streets

These days, a local product launch for Research In Motion is met with the chirping of crickets.

Which makes it easy for us to forget about RIM’s international growth and success, and the fervour some overseas still feel for the iconic BlackBerry smartphone. In Indonesia today, thousands of eager consumers stuffed themselves into a shopping mall to snatch the first batch of Bold 9790s available in the world.

In fact, the crowd was so thick that hundreds of police were deployed in case of a riot, which in turn triggered a traffic jam.

The reason for the long lineup was a special deal: 50% off the $540 device for the first 1,000 buyers, causing a lineup to form the night before, iPhone-style. By this morning, patience was wearing thing as the crowd of 3,000 starting rattling the mall gates. A rumour spread that the device had already sold out, then, which spurred many to go crazy, and some to faint.

RIM’s North American success has waned for the past couple of years as the iOS and Android platforms devour its once dominant marketshare. However, the Waterloo-based smartphone pioneer still holds the reigns in some foreign markets where it is experiencing solid growth. 

Image: AP