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BlackBerry-Bold-9790-Curve-9380

A crowd of over 1,000 people mobbed an Indonesian mall for a chance to buy a half priced BlackBerry 9790. Over 90 people passed out in the mob, and at least three people suffered broken bones.

If you thought local Black Friday deals were good, you need to go to Indonesia. A crowd of over 1,000 people formed outside an Indonesian mall on Friday for a sale on the newly released BlackBerry 9790, pictured on the left above. The phone that retails for around $520 was available at half price.

Customers had been in line since 4 pm the day before waiting for the sale to start. Rumors started spreading throughout the massive crowd that there wasn’t enough phones for everyone in line so they started to get a little rowdy. The crowd pushed through a barricade which caused at least 90 people to pass out and three people to suffer broken bones. It took 200 police officers and security guards to restore order to the mob.  Three people were rushed to the hospital for treatment to their injuries.

While it might be a little surprising for us here in the U.S. but BlackBerry is by far the most popular phone maker in Indonesia. Four of the top five selling phones are made by BlackBerry. Combine the insane popularity of the device with a half off discount on a recently released device and this sort of situation is predictable.

Local police said that BlackBerry officials will be questioned for failure to provide a safe environment for the sale. The police were not informed by BlackBerry prior to the event, and say that if they were they would have been able to control the situation.

After the initial mob was dispersed phones went back on sale for a short time until ultimately the sale was shut down prematurely.  There is no word as of right now if other retailers will attempt a similar promotion, but Indonesians should be able to buy the 9790 at any of their local BlackBerry retailers starting tomorrow.

Blackberry PlaybookResearch In Motion is now offering customers a free PlayBook – but only if they buy two of them. The offer runs until the end of this year and is aimed at businesses.

Research In Motion (RIM) is looking for more ways to shift those PlayBooks. The latest idea, announced by the Ontario-based company on Friday, is to give a free PlayBook to anyone that buys two. But the question is, who’s going to buy two? Of course, there’ll be those asking another question: Who’s even going to buy one?

According to the ad on the BlackBerry website, the offer is aimed at business users, so RIM is banking on there being bosses out there who might be moved to equip company employees with its device. To further entice potential buyers, a BlackBerry leather sleeve, charging pod and HDMI cable will be offered for free with each tablet.

The latest initiative follows several others by RIM aimed at boosting sales of its poor-selling tablet. At the end of last month, a number of retailers knocked $200 off the device, bringing the cost of the entry level 16GB PlayBook down to $299.

However, it’s once again selling for $499. Also in September, news emerged that RIM was offering the tablet to employees of Canadian cell phone carrier and long-time business partner Rogers, discounted by as much as 50 percent.

The fact is, the PlayBook is struggling in a market where Apple’s iPad continues to dominate. During its first quarter of sales, RIM shipped 500,000 PlayBooks, but for the quarter ending in September, demand had already cooled markedly, with only 200,000 being shipped. Apple, by comparison, sold just over 11 million iPads during roughly the same time period.

When the PlayBook was launched in April, it came under fire for lacking a native email client and instant messaging app, as well as having a poorly stocked app store. This week it was announced that the release of a long-awaited OS update intended to fix some of these issues has been put off until next year.

RIM’s latest offering may grab the attention of some businesses, but with so many tablets coming on the market now, including Amazon’s highly-anticipated Kindle Fire, it’s hard to imagine the PlayBook ever taking off in a big way.

RIM’s offer runs until the end of December and can be purchased from a number of authorized resellers in the US and Canada (excluding Quebec).