It is no mistake that for years, Symbian became the dominant smartphone OS here in Nigeria, and indeed Africa. The peculiar conditions of this environment ensured that. Despite all the razmattaz of iOS and Android, Symbian kept its strong hold on the African continent – and for good reasons too. Here are a few:
1. Good power management. Most Symbian phones have good battery life
2. Data management. With some of the most basic bundle internet plans, you could run the average Symbian smartphone conveniently for a month. This means huge cost savings.
My 60+ father recently replaced his Symbian smartphone, a Nokia 6760 Slide (yes; dad uses smartphones too) with the new Blackberry Curve 9360. He had used his 6760 Slide for business purposes for over a year now. Of course, he got tired of Symbian S60 3rd Edition eventually. Who wouldn’t (remember my position that Nokia needs to stop producing those older versions of Symbian)? This is 2012, please.
What were dad’s motivating factors in his choice of a Blackberry? The two items that I listed above were key, of course!
BlackBerry devices are legendary for good battery life and data management. Dad is extremely delighted to have access to a full smartphone and internet service at only N1,500 per month.
Special Data Bundles For Android?
I have heard some Android users gripe and demand that network operators are biased and should also provide special bundles for Android phones. This is mostly based on ignorance (or just arrogance, of course). Network operators provide special Blackberry bundles because of the benefits that their networks derive from BlackBerry’s server compression service.
RIM’s compression technology means that BlackBerry devices eat up less data and put less pressure on mobile networks than devices from other platforms. Get it? As such, if Google would implement a data compression service for Android devices, then the networks would gladly provide special low-cost bundles for droids too.
BlackBerry And Good Battery Life?
Some of you are probably screaming blue murder about Blackberry battery life. Hold your horses while I burst your bubble.
Nigerian network providers have been notorious for epileptic Blackberry services. That’s what’s eating your BlackBerry’s battery for the most part. Get on a more stable network and see how much better your Blackberry’s battery performs.
BlackBerry, The Best Alternative To Symbian
As people flock away from Symbian, they are looking for an alternative smartphone platform that provides similar benefits to what they have been used to – multi-tasking, Mass storage, Bluetooth file transfer, and good resource (data and power) management.
With N28,000 or less, a brand new Blackberry 8520 can be picked up at most mobile retail outlets. That is not nearly as cheap as the cheapest Android and Symbian devices, but it is not a bad price either.
The Blackberry platform is the logical way to go for the most part. Even a non-geek like my dad can tell. He has never heard of Android. He knows iPhone, but won’t buy that. But he knows Blackberry, recognises it, likes the hardware QWERTY (he finds touchscreens unintuitive, but that’s an article for another day), and thinks it is both functional and cool. So does his business partner, who also uses a BlackBerry.
Last year, I wrote an article titled Will BlackBerry become the Number One Smartphone OS in 2012?. I still do not believe that it will happen in 2012, but it is certain that with the recent news of Nokia’s change in plans for Symbian, Blackberry now stands a good chance of indeed becoming number one smartphone OS in Nigeria. Perhaps in 2013. Perhaps beyond that.
Perhaps I will be getting a Blackberry as my primary smartphone too.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.