I’ve read some articles that stated that the future of Blackberry (and RIM in general) isn’t very bright. Well I beg to differ. Maybe a larger part of people in North America go for iPhones or Androids, but RIM isn’t dead. In fact, it is doing great in many parts of the world. Countries like Mexico, Indonesia, and South Africa are contributing largely towards the revenues of Blackberries. As revealed by Robert Bose, the chief of RIM in Africa, Middle East, and Central Europe, RIM will soon open another Blackberry office in Lagos, thus making Nigeria a perfect target for marketing.
Nigeria has a very small mobile market and only 5% of phone users have a smartphone. But out of these 5%, Blackberry takes more than half of the market share. Since the Blackberry Messenger has immense popularity in this region, there is a lot of scope for market expansion. Plus RIM is offering unlimited and inexpensive plans to advantage more from the situation. More than 97% Blackberry users in Nigeria use BBM.
Also, there are many inexpensive Blackberry phones like the Curve 8520, which means that many people can connect to their peers without paying much. Due to all these factors combined, Blackberry was recently voted as the number one smartphone of the country among teenagers. The phone has just gone viral and there were some ‘Nollywood’ movies released last year on Blackberries. They focused on ‘Blackberry babes’, and how your social status can be affected if you don’t have a Blackberry. And all this didn’t even require any direct representation from the brand itself.
But Nigerians aren’t exactly keen on inexpensive low-end devices. There are many high-end phones like Bold 9900 that sell a lot in the country.
Waldi Wepener, the regional director of RIM for West, Central, and East Africa, said that though people normally expect Nigerians to be fond of cheap phones, but there are many customers who want to buy the best Blackberries. Nigeria isn’t a subsidized market, and this is why operators do not subsidize the devices down to nothing. The device prices are visible at user level. And this is not holding the market back.
So what does this mean for Blackberry and RIM? They have a market of 100 million users in Nigeria, where over 5 million people use smartphones, and more than half have Blackberries. It will be just a little bit of time when a major part of the population will shift towards smartphones, and then RIM will have millions of new customers, since Blackberry is already the most preferred phone brand there. And that’s just for Nigeria. RIM has working stores in Middle East and India, where Blackberry sales have been rising.
Of course, winning the American market back is very important, and is crucial for the survival of Blackberry, but the battle isn’t over. With Blackberry slowly taking the world in its stride, North America will soon become an active Blackberry market. Things like these don’t happen overnight. In the meanwhile, RIM isn’t sleeping. It’s expanding in market and getting global recognition.
Share the love
Get free updates and win BlackBerry prizes
People Who Liked This Article Also Liked...
Related Posts From Forum... Have Your Say!
This section is coming soon...