RIM BlackBerry Needs To Pay More Attention To Africa
With a $125 million loss in sales for the 4th quarter of 2011 and Apple’s iPhone beating it hands down in its home country of Canada, Research In Motion is undeniably facing tough times.
Unfortunately they are slow in waking up from their slumber and focusing on markets where the demand for blackberry devices is peaking gradually
One of such places is the African continent.
I live in Nigeria and I must admit that like so many BlackBerry users here, I got my BlackBerry device ’cause a friend of mine recommended it as the new way to stay connected with most of our classmates.
This connection is via BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) of course.
Weeks later, I was hooked on it ‘cause I could do so much online with it for a fraction of what it would have cost me on another phone or on my PC.
Yep! If you’re looking for the best internet deal in Nigeria, go get a BlackBerry now!
The BlackBerry fever in Nigeria has continued to wax strong and last year it birthed one helluva of a funny though kinda tacky straight to DVD and YouTube movie, BlackBerry Babes starring the likes of Mary Remy (Kesha) and Eniola Badmus (Apollonia – Gbogbo Big Gals).
Even the expensive Blackberry Porsche seems to be have found its select fans amongst Nigerians.
If the guys at RIM are looking for reasons why they need to pay attention to the African market, here’s one that stands out like a sore thumb:
Mobile internet ain’t so cheap in these parts of the world with the average monthly data plan set at 100MB for $6 in country where the average folk lives below a $1 daily. With the recently introduced blackberry complete data plans, BB users now have access to over 3GB of data for just $10 a month.
With BlackBerry’s data compression which is known to alleviate the stress of mobile data transmission on the networks, the likes of Globacom Nigeria and Etisalat Nigeria are plugging BlackBerry services like never before and have even gone ahead to create a special customer care line for BlackBerry users only.
Truth be told these networks are cashing in via BIS ’cause the average blackberry user over here just emails, pings, tweets, does facebook with some browsing and ends up using just around 200mb monthly leaving a whopping 2.8gb to float free.
The BlackBerry Curve 8520 (Curve 2) being the cheapest available in the market is selling pretty well and even those who can’t afford a brand new device, go for the US/UK refurbished BlackBerry phones that cost around half the asking price of the new ones.
This calls for RIM to release a cheaper yet quality version of the BlackBerry just like my boss at Mobility Nigeria says. Please read RIM Needs A Low-cost Blackberry For Africa. Keep the cost below N20,000 with a good wap browser, GPRS/EDGE/Bluetooth connectivity, basic 1MP camera, nifty multitasking and you have a winner.
Business folks have adopted BlackBerry as their cornerstone communication and promotional device. Using BBM they can quickly advertise their goods and services via broadcasts, their status updates and DP. These broadcasts in turn have the potential to go viral creating more business for them without extra costs.
Some have said R.I.M needs to adopt the android OS platform to kick start their resurrection but some of us beg to differ. They just need to focus more on improving on what they know best and coming out with innovations that can’t be found on any other mobile platforms.
With RIM’s blackberry devices you get high quality email and messaging services with good social networking abilities via a secure communication channel as well as great app integration all packaged in one solidly built hardware.
I use a BlackBerry Curve 3G and plan on upgrading soon to Curve 4. Do you own a BlackBerry device? What has your experience being like? Feel free to share with us in the comment section