Bangkokians will know full well how popular the Blackberry has become in the Big Mango. Why the popularity? According to Gregory Wade, Managing Director of Research in Motion, there are three reasons:

“Why are the Thai people so attracted to BlackBerry? Why is it so popular? What sets Thailand apart from other markets?,” Wade asked the audience.

His answer was threefold*. First was social media. Thailand has 13 million people using social media of which 2 million are using Facebook. Sixty percent of mobile Facebook access is done through a mobile device. People are moving, people are mobile, people are multi-tasking.

Second is localisation. The BlackBerry has a localised product set, not just the phone, complete with applications that are Thai enabled.

Third is the aspiration of Thais who love their celebrities and want to emulate them, using the same phones as these social influencers.

“This is an example of a unique element in Thailand that has taken hold, whether they are societal influencers, business influencers or celebrity influencers. Thai people love to adopt the latest technology. They want to adopt the latest and greatest design, setting the trend,” he said.”

I think it is not controversial to say that Thai people like new trends, technological or not and many will emulate the great and the good. I will also make the observation that, in underground railway stations, passengers approach the glass wall that separates train from people and I can confirm that at least 70%, men as well as women, will check their appearance both from the front and from the back.

* I just said that.