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Indonesia’s smartphone market gets promote from BlackBerry

Indonesia wants more smartphone manufacturing in its country and it remains an important market for BlackBerry.
Indonesia is looking to be more competitive in the smartphone market and BlackBerry might be giving it a boost. After lackluster sales of its last two major handsets, BlackBerry announced it was outsourcing all of its future branded hardware so the company can focus on software, targeting security, for which the brand is known. BlackBerry now has a deal with PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk, the largest wireless carrier in Indonesia, according to the Wall Street Journal.
This deal could be critical for both companies. Indonesia remains one of the few countries where BlackBerry Messenger is still the dominant messaging platform. Indonesia, for its part, has tried to force companies into manufacturing 20 percent of their phones within the country, a quota that will increase to 30 percent next year. That, however, has largely gone ignored by foreign brands. Xiaomi disabled 4G in its phones and Apple's iPhones are only sold through third parties on the black market there.
BlackBerry might be the only global brand that is heavily invested in Indonesia. Samsung started doing some manufacturing in the country in 2015, but it is not as reliant on it as other smaller brands. Some China labels such as Oppo and Lenovo started manufacturing in Indonesia because the market is important to their growth, but that is not true for all companies. Samsung remains the smartphone leader in the country.
The limited success of the "Made in Indonesia" initiative does not mean the country is about to become a smartphone manufacturing powerhouse. Critical portions of the supply chain remain in China, and China brands continue to become more competitive. Huawei still aspires to become the largest smartphone maker by shipments within the next few years. Brands such as LeEco and Xiaomi are looking to push their hardware into the US market. Any gains by Indonesia's smartphone industry will still face stiff competition from its large, Asian neighbor.
While not everyone has the capital to set up shop in other countries, smaller companies looking to sell 4G phones in Indonesia have been turning to existing local makers. Indonesia is still seeing growth in its handset market, making it an important place for manufacturers, but India is the fastest-growing market and many suppliers have to prioritize where they focus their efforts. At least BlackBerry does not have to worry about the logistics of making the hardware anymore. Software is easier to scale.