RIM’s BlackBerry might be the best-selling smartphone brand in North America, and the second-best in the entire world, but the Canadian company is having a lousy PR week despite the announcement of its new flagship phone, the Torch. First the UAE and then Saudi Arabia banned BlackBerry from their countries, and now Indonesia is considering the same thing.
Indonesia is a much more populous nation than either the UAE or Saudi Arabia, and consequently has over one million BlackBerry users. But the Southeast Asian archipelago shares some of the concerns of the UAE and Saudi Arabia, namely that RIM does not allow foreign governments (aside from, in certain cases, the United States) to read emails, text messages, and instant messages sent between its devices.
That’s not a concern exclusive to those three countries, either–the European Union will be moving its entire executive arm, more than 32,000 employees, from BlackBerry to either iPhone or some undisclosed HTC device (likely either Android or Windows Mobile). Apple and HTC both allow foreign governments to monitor messages sent among their devices.
Indonesia is still mulling over its decision, so this isn’t a firm ban–yet.
RIM refuses to back down, saying it will not compromise its long-standing security measures to accommodate a government. And that’s an admirable stance–especially given RIM’s troubles of late.