At a press conference by RIM yesterday, Robert Bose, Regional Manager Director for the Middle East and Africa, spoke about how RIM is doing in

Half of connected smartphones in Nigeria are BlackBerry

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RIM Press Conference, Lagos

At a press conference by RIM yesterday, Robert Bose, Regional Manager Director for the Middle East and Africa, spoke about how RIM is doing in Africa and Nigeria in particular. He stated that according to Informa, 2 million out of the 4 million smartphones connected in Nigeria are Blackberry smartphones. He spoke of how BlackBerry is the number one smartphone in Africa overall and highlighted how mobile access is opening Africa and Nigerians in particular to the internet. He said Nigerians are BlackBerry people, who are fulfilling their social needs through the BBM service.

When he left the stage, Waldi Wepener, Regional Director -East, Central and West Africa, took the stage and made announcements of RIM’s expansion of its local presence in Nigeria. He announced the first official branded retail store in partnership with SLOT Nigeria. He also announced 60 free software upgrade centres accross Nigeria, where BB users can take their device and have its software updated for free.

A second phase of training for developers on developing for BlackBerry 10 was also announced at the event. In addition, it was announced that RIM is the technology partner for Lagos Fashion Week.

7 comments

  1. Smartphones users in Nigeria are just too small.
    I am quite interested in BB 10 esp the multi tasking.
    I will like to now where the 60 free software upgrade centres across Nigeria are.

    Hi Mobility.
    I dont get new post and follow up comments in my mails again and they are not in my Junk, any issue on your end?

  2. Well, humans have different needs, but one need that cuts across is the need to communicate and connect.

    Bkackberry (Nokia?) – connecting people.

    If our networks gradually and progressively bring down the cost of accessing the net, one of the major advantages of the BlackBerry comes under potent threat!

    For the moment, used BlackBerry imports from Europre are cheap. BB usage is trendy and appeal to the young and young_@_heart

    I wonder if BB is really selling new devices (in Nigeria and everywhere) in any appreciable quantité?

  3. As a result of nigeria’s support for them, I expect that they would launch their bb10 devices here as early as possible not 1 year after it was released or when they are been threatened with oblivion.

  4. It’s really interesting. While Blackberry on the global smartphone stage is known to be lagging behind dangerously, losing money heavily, and dying ominously, the same BB is the fastest and biggest growing smartphone of choice in Nigeria. Truth is, the everyday users of BB in Nigeria don’t know and don’t care about all the alarming news of RIM’s downslide at the global level. They don’t know that Yahoo recently delisted BB from the list of new smartphones they are gifting their staff worldwide. All that Nigerian users of BB know and love is that they can socialize and connect easily, pinging and pinging away merrily, no matter whether the OS is outdated or whatever. My take is that if the coming Blackberry 10 fails, then RIM is better off shifting its attention away from snubbish North America and Europe markets to emerging markets like Nigeria where it is so beloved. No doubt, BB is the No.1 smartphone I see being mostly used in Nigeria.

  5. @Baoku Iseotan:

    You comment suddenly brought one frightening reality on my mind. Nokia announced that they are abandoning Symbian and it didn’t stop people (diehard Symbian/Nokia fans as well as ignorant people) from buying their phone and enjoying it too. If Nokia had suddenly stopped existing, people would still be enjoying their smartphones today.

    Now, can we say the same thing for RIM? Greater part of the utility of the BB platform is tied with RIM and should they wind down tomorrow, all the BB devices out there would be reduced to dump phones or at best, feature phones with their only avenue to the web being Opera Mini. That should be worrying to people investing on the platform right now because I don’t think Africa alone cab sustain RIM.

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