Yesterday when I published news of BlackBerry taking the number one smartphone spot in Nigeria, there were some concerns from those who felt that there was no way BlackBerry could have pushed Symbian aside that easily.
Well, I have it on good authority that Nokia doesn’t really see Nigeria as a smartphone market. This is also the reason that the Lumia range is not sold officially in Nigeria yet. Don’t ask me for my sources. I cannot reveal them.
But the revelation is shocking; isn’t it? But that isn’t all. I also have it on good authority that Nokia is pushing the Asha range to take market share from RIM/BlackBerry. It sounds odd to me, as the Asha range is not a smartphone platform. Asha lacks multi-tasking and native 3rd party apps, but is loved by networks because operators get to keep all data revenues unlike the scenario with BlackBerry Internet Service in which revenue is shared.
I doubt if that means operators don’t like BlackBerry either. They clearly like it and are pushing it everywhere. That all-round data compression that BIS offers has been explained here before, and it is of great benefit to the operators’ networks.
But Nokia is certainly correct about Nigeria not being a smartphone market. About 80-90% of mobiles in use in the country are non-smartphones. Amazing, but true. As such, pushing Asha is not a bad idea. However, it means that Nokia is giving up the smartphone segment here.
It is then no wonder that BlackBerry found it easy pickings.
Still, I wonder if it would hurt that bad for Nokia to make Lumia devices available here, even if it is without any fanfare.
Intriguing stuff; right? What are your thoughts about all this – Nigeria being a feature phone market, no Lumia, and Asha versus BlackBerry?
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