RIM steps up BlackBerry developer activities in India and Indonesia

Telecom Lead India: BlackBerry smartphone maker Research In Motion (RIM) has stepped up its activities in India and Indonesia as part of improving its presence in emerging telecom markets.

Annie Mathew, head of Alliance, Research In Motion India

While RIM opened its BlackBerry Innovation Center in Indonesia, it initiated the BASE (BlackBerry Apps by Student Entrepreneurs) campaign in Kerala, India.

The initiative in Kerala is aimed at educating and expanding the developer base in India. BASE aims to create awareness about the BlackBerry Developer Zone, App World, BlackBerry Academic Program, BlackBerry devices and RIM as an organization.

The Indonesian center at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) campus in Bandung will provide opportunities for ITB students to engage in educational and research programs focusing on mobile app development.

“The ultimate goal of the BlackBerry Innovation Center is to accelerate the mobile computing industry in Indonesia by providing students with the skills, education and experience they need to get jobs and build businesses in the sector,” RIM said.

With several successful campaigns under this initiative capturing students from across 45 colleges, the BASE initiative has now been inaugurated in several colleges in Kerala in partnership with the Rubus Lab situated at the Start up village.

“BASE is an initiative to enable students to use the BlackBerry App World and bring their ideas to life on the mobile platform. We have targeted third and fourth year engineering students to help them create apps for BlackBerry and get further trained through the BlackBerry academic program,” said

Annie Mathew, head of Alliance, Research In Motion India.

RIM has reportedly invested $5 million to establish the center in Indonesia, in collaboration with ITB. Under the partnership, RIM will grant each year for the next five years research scholarships in mobile computing for 30 ITB students.

The center is part of the BlackBerry Academic Program, under which RIM says it has been working with over 50 education institutions across Indonesia to educate students on BlackBerry mobile app development.

In the second quarter of the year, Android became the most popular operating system in Indonesia’s smartphone market, commanding a 52 percent share, according to International Data Corporation, an IT and telecommunication research group, in a report released in September. It didn’t give comparable figures for the first quarter.

RIM’s emerging markets revenue grew significantly from $1.69 billion in fiscal year Q2 2011 to $2.33 billion in fiscal year Q2 2012 when other geographies saw negative growth in the same period.

The company retains loyal customers in emerging markets like India, Indonesia, and the Middle East. Sales of RIM devices in Africa, which is booming with mobile consumers, increased 741 percent year over year.

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