Wednesday, January 28, 2009

the essay

The Blackberry Phenomenon in Indonesia

By : Cut Naila Febrininta

Widely known because of its extravagant people, Indonesia has become a potential target market for a lot of imported products, especially if we are talking about technology, entertainment, lifestyle, and fashion industries. In the era of globalization and communication for example, BlackBerry phone fever hit Indonesia upper class, as the part of technology and also fashion. BlackBerry is a USA made cellular phone which looks a bit different in shape from the other phones. This phone has a special feature; that is internet. Furthermore, all we know that BlackBerry is the phone for Hollywood celebrities. Now, this phone is spreading its fever to Indonesian people. Take a look at magazines, and many other media. They are always featuring about BlackBerry phone. And very often we see Jakarta’s and other big cities’ yuppies such as young professionals, socialites, housewives, workers, even high school students use this phone. Yes, they have already been infected by the BlackBerry fever; in other words, CrackBerry. Actually, BlackBerry has become a trend and phenomenon since a couple years ago in the USA. On the other side, there have already been a lot of smart phones and PDA phones in Indonesia which have similar functions to BlackBerry. So, what makes BlackBerry so special and even become phenomenal here? The breakthrough of BlackBerry in Indonesia has been tremendous due to three reasons; the technology itself; celebrities’ role; and fashion & lifestyle.

Firstly, BlackBerry is very sophisticated and has a lot of special features inside. From all the smartphones that give us internet connection and broadband services, we can say that BlackBerry gives us the best, functionally and technologically. For example, BlackBerry has Windows live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger as chatting facilities while the others still serve us eBuddy, the lower class mobile chatting facilities which is so popular among Indonesian young people. Then, talking about BlackBerry will not be complete without talking about its fast internet connections as BlackBerry’s selling point. Using internet with BlackBerry seems like using internet with our own PC (personal computer) in a smaller way, because both of them have similarity in the fast connection. Then how if suddenly the connection breaks because our credit is not enough ? In this case, BlackBerry phone should be supported with the post-paid card. At first, this regulation made the new fans of BlackBerry in Indonesia feel reluctant to buy it. But now, Indonesian cellular card providers fortunately launch a special package for BlackBerry users who still want to use their pre-paid card. The average price is between Rp 160.000,- until Rp 190.000,- per month.In fact, this price is still a bit expensive when compared to the price of the local internet service provider for the PC. However, this weakness doesn’t give a big negative impact on the selling of this phone, people still love and want BlackBerry.

Secondly, Blackberry’s sale increased significantly because of celebrities’s role. Since BlackBerry was launched first in the USA a couple years ago, a lot of Hollywood celebrities started using it. Paparazzi captured the photo of those celebs who were using BlackBerry very often. From then on, public started to know and associate BlackBerry with celebrities’ sophisticated phone, more than just a merely technological phone. Same thing happens in Indonesia at this moment. Indonesian celebrities such as actors, actresses, singers, film makers, models, even politicians, start using BlackBerry. This phenomenon is publicized then because a lot of websites, magazines, tabloids, and newspapers often talk about this fad. According to what celebrities said to media, they use BlackBerry because of the facilities that BlackBerry offers, beside its technology. On the other hand, some people think that the reason why those celebrities use blackberry is just because they want to follow the trend. Indeed, celebrities are good marketer for every thing that needs to be publicized; in short words, they are the trendsetters. As the widespread of BlackBerry fans in Indonesia is triggered by celebrities. Because of intense publicity of Indonesian celebrities who use BlackBerry, people start to know that BlackBerry is a new trend in Indonesia. It influences not only celebrities fans but also trend followers, gadget freaks, and media watchers to follow those celebrities using BlackBerry phone.

Finally, BlackBerry is a part of fashion and lifestyle in this era. When it comes to fashion nowadays, BlackBerry is the one of the most important commodities in fashion industries. In this case we have to mention the word ‘trend’ again. Using BlackBerry as the most popular gadget nowadays will make the user look trendy and also fashionable. From it looks, BlackBerry phone has a different shape from the other phones. Then, BlackBerry phone is equipped with some colorful cases such as pink, red, green, and other colors. The mix between unique shape and colorful case then make BlackBerry phone looks so unique, candy-look, and eye-catchy. Not seldom, many people use BlackBerry for equipping their fashionable looks. BlackBerry seems like one of the attributes on how fashionable a person is. People pay for BlackBerry with a big amount of money. They pay not only the thing itself, but also for the feeling of prestige when they use it. That is why most of Indonesian people who turn to BlackBerry are the “haves”. Then, BlackBerry is not only the part of fashion industries but also the part of lifestyle. Lifestyle is all about how people enjoy their lives and how people show off their status. For example, people who are concerned with their lifestyle equip themselves with this technology; and BlackBerry as a state-of-the art gadget comes into it. For sure, BlackBerry as a sophisticated and trendy smartphone must be the choice for those people who are lifestyle-concerned. Technologically, BlackBerry can make life easier and functionally, it can show their prestige and status as the generation of the 21th century.

In conclusion, BlackBerry phone has become a new phenomenon in Indonesia. Its popularity tremendously spreads in just a little time. As we can see, more and more people set their heart to it. This phone is a truly sophisticated phone that can make our life easier. No wonder this phone wins the heart of new fans in just a little time. In addition, celebrities’ role, fashion, and lifestyle can not be taken apart from BlackBerry phenomenon. Based on the above mentioned aspects, it will not be hard for this smart phone to still maintain its existence and develop its good image time after time.

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