What does RIM expect in a country ranked as one of the richest but least populous nation in the world? They likely want to grab more apps downloaded by the country’s 200,000 internet users and 400,000 mobile phone subscribers from its total population of 410,000 (as per latest World Bank figures). Last week, Brunei has been added to the growing list of over 160 countries worldwide that can enjoy BlackBerry AppWorld. So Bruneians are entitled to easily find, download, and utilize tons of mobile apps for the platform — more than 70,000 to date.
Brunei’s wealthy economy is a mixture of foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation, welfare measures and village tradition with extensive petroleum and natural gas field as the main engines. Crude oil and natural gas production are accounted for around 90 percent of their Gross Domestic Products (GDP), making them the fourth largest producer of oil in Southeast Asia and the ninth largest Liquefied Natural Gas exporter worldwide.
The BlackBerry Services, Internet and Enterprise, was initially offered two years ago by one of the country’s leading private companies, DST Communications Sdn Bhd (DSTCom). The company is owned by DST Group, which provides mobile, broadband, broadcasting services as well as the content. The solution was launched at the same time when BlackBerry Bold 9700 was offered.
At that time, the Sultanate has been an early adopter of the (limited) BlackBerry service. The Bruneian market had something to look forward to, in terms of being part of this global ecosystem of 35 million users enjoying the BlackBerry platform.
As disclosed by RIM’s VP for Developer Relations Alec Saunders at this year’s DevCon, AppWorld garnered more than 2 billion downloads as of January 2012, and the average number of downloads have hit six million on daily basis. By launching AppWorld in Brunei, RIM can expect the number of apps downloaded to increase, although perhaps quite marginally at first. Managing Director for Indochina Nicholas Horton is optimistic with the demand for BlackBerry services and applications in the region. “There is high demand for BlackBerry apps and we are excited that customers in Brunei will now be able to enjoy this service.”