Long-term followers of MobilityNigeria.com know that I am a function-over-form person. I purchase my devices strictly for their practical functionality and for the thrill I

Buying a Smartphone for PR Purposes

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Long-term followers of MobilityNigeria.com know that I am a function-over-form person. I purchase my devices strictly for their practical functionality and for the thrill I get out of using them. However, that may change…

Before you scream, “Traitor!“, hear me out; okay?

htc touch pro 01

The Public Relations man at Alireta swears by the gods of the corporate world that I need to start thinking more like a corporate person and less like a geek. In plain english, he says that as M.D. of a company like Alireta, a core consideration of mine should be having and carrying around a phone that makes a statement.

Aaargh! I can see how that will cramp my style a bit.

If you know the corporate world a bit (at least here in Nigeria), you can attest that the favourites in that environment are Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices. Yes; you’ll find some E90s here and there, but by and large the Nigerian corporate environment is powered by Blackberry and Windows Mobile.

I remember that both my wife and my PR officer kicked against my replacing the E90 with the G1 on the grounds that the E90 would be more impressive and make a better statement when I went for meetings. Note that I have known these two individuals intimately for several years and they are NOT vain people.

According to my PR man, the rest of the corporate gang think that there is something wrong with you if you don’t carry one of those things they carry around. Worse, they think you are a “small boy” and may generally not pay you much attention.

At first, I went “No way!”, but I am giving it some thought.

Personally now, I am asking, Can I use a Blackberry? Not sure. As for Windows Mobile, yes; there are WinMo devices I am more than certain that I would love to use.

I am sure that I do not like this corporate game of trying to impress people, but that’s how it is played. Whether I like it or not, I’m smack in the middle of it. For sure, it is neither immoral nor illegal, so perhaps I can play a bit too.

Alternatively, I could resign as CEO of Alireta and keep using whatever catches my fancy regardless of what anyone thinks! So there. Just in case you catch me with a Blackberry… it wasn’t me!!


  1. The robe should not make the monk. Unfortunately, here in Nigeria, it does. The loudest sounding water-drum is usually the EMPTY one!

  2. Don’t think this is really an issue for you because if you list out the smartphones you have used in the past 5 years or so, they are really what corporate Nigeria uses.

    The difference this time is that Corporate Nigeria is migrating to BlackBerry devices and I can tell you are not so keen about that migration.

    Never mind, like you already know today’s BlackBerry devices, like the Bold, do pack a punch in design and multimedia. Enjoy the experience and make Madam and the PR man happy.

  3. It is a funny world. My brother came visiting today and happened to have his wife’s Blackberry Bold with him. Just what are the chances of that kind of thing happening right after my post above?

    I popped in my SIM to give it a spin. First impressions: the user interface is sweet, and the browser works well. I’m typing this comment on it, and I must say that the keyboard rocks (of course, we all knew that already; didn’t we?)

    I want to try out some more advanced tasks on the browse. Of course without Blackberry Internet Service, I can’t try out email.

    Later, guys!

  4. Blackberry Bold update:

    I tried out logging in to Cpanel and webmail but kept getting the following message:

    HTTP Error 401: Unauthorised

    You are not authorised to view this page. Please try loading a different page.

    Apparently, the browser is not capable of handling the login interface, because those services are functioning.

    The Blackberry Bold is a no-no for me. Is the Curve like this too? Any device whose browser can’t handle such tasks is out of the question for me – PR or no PR.

  5. Ah, no escape for you. So, try out WinMo devices. They obviously have the largest options of browser applications: IE6, Opera Mobile, Iris, Netfront, UCWEB, Skyfire, Fennec.

    I am currently using IE6 in a flashed WM6.5 ROM on my HTC Wizard (article for another day).

  6. Hash, it is for the same reason of limited functionality (as evidenced on the Bold) that I won’t be considering your recommendation of the iPhone either. Yes; I want bling but won’t sacrifice my productivity. A device with a good balance between the two is what I am on the lookout for.

    Brym, yes; it seems like I will end up with a WinMo device. My immediate options (in no particular order) include:

    • Xperia X1,
    • Touch Pro,
    • Touch Pro2,
    • Samsung B7610 OmniaPRO

    PS: HTC Wizard? You’ve still got a functional unit? Sounds interesting. When can we expect that article/review?

  7. I know of your non-iPhone appreciation, so my original comment was really more of a joke. 🙂

    Have you used an iPhone yet? If not, you should really test one out for about a week or so and then see if you can compare it to something as rudimentary as a Blackberry Bold. Usability wise, especially if you plan on doing anything on a browser from your phone, just can’t be beat.

    I also like the HTC Magic, it’s fairly functional. If Nokia, I’d go with the E71, my loyal travel standby for everything, but definitely won’t get you the PR push that you would get from a more expensive phone.

  8. PS: HTC Wizard? You’ve still got a functional unit?

    I was actually planning to buy the Touch Pro or Xperia X1. Having left WinMO for a while, I asked my bro for his retired Wizard to get familiar with the platform again. I sim-unloked it and upgraded to AKU 3. Not satisfied, I CID-unlocked it and flashed a cooked WM6 ROM on it and bricked it. I reflashed it with AKU 3 ROM and it came back to life. From then I have moved on to WM6.1 and finally to a very feature-rich and functional WM6.5 ROM.

    Speed is OK and availbale RAM is acceptable. Now, I am asking my asking myself why I need a Touch Pro or Xperia X1 with older ROMs and less featues?

    PS: Spent unforgivable hours on xda- developers site learning how to flash ROMs and the Wizard was an expendable guinea pig.

  9. Yomi,
    If winmo is your next phone i will like to add to your long list ,the S.E xperia X2 equipped with a snapdragon processor and winMo 6.5 which can be upgraded to window7 version when released.I think with this you will have enough stories to tell us.

  10. Abubakar,

    If Sony Ericsson’s reputation for delaying phone releases is anything to go by, waiting for the Xperia X2 might equal waiting for eternity! SE hasn’t even made an official announcement of the device.

    While I am tripping over the Samsung B7610 OmniaPRO, I am not quite sure I’ll still be phone-shopping when it arrives Nigeria after its 3rd quarter release. I suspect I’ll end up with either the Touch Pro or the X1, both of which are available in the country already.

    PS: We got your submission on the mobile interface and have rectified it. Thanks for the feedback!

  11. Seriously,Sonyericsson have the technology taking advantage of SONY walkman,camera, and most recently playstation,but what they lack is market strategy. Therefore they releases their latest brand of phones when other vendors have already flooded the markets with similar or the same brands.Anyway, lets just hope they have learnt their lessons from untimely and overpricing of xperia X1 which nearly sunk them into bankrupcy the same way Motorola found itself today.Meanwhile, xperia X1 is a great choice.

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