It was just about 48 hours ago that in my article titled, Recognise Nigeria or Take a Walk, I called out several mobile manufacturers and

RIM takes the Honourable Path – Opens Up App World to Nigeria

Posted by

It was just about 48 hours ago that in my article titled, Recognise Nigeria or Take a Walk, I called out several mobile manufacturers and developers on their snobbish posture towards Nigeria with regards access to purchasing applications from their various app stores. RIM, manufacturers of the popular Blackberry range of smartphones, were one of those.

Blackberry has an astonishing adoption rate in Nigeria, and I was of the opinion that RIM would not want to lose such a goldmine, especially seeing that their marketshare in the U.S. was beginning to take a hit.

This morning, ‘Dayo sent me a mail with screenshots to notify me that he was able to access the Blackberry App World. Tonight, after a very exhausting day, I found the time to try it out. Surprise, surprise!

Blackberry App World now Open to Nigeria

Using my VISAcard, I was able to purchase an app, download and install it on wife’s device. It is late tonight, and I cannot go into full details, but payment options include Paypal and credit/debit cards.

Nigeria is now on the list of countries in the App World shopping cart, and I made a purchase with my card issued by Guaranty Trust Bank here in the country.

Screenshots below (including SMS notification alert from GTBank on the purchase transaction):

ScreenShot 2011 01 16 23 06 38 by s4bb

ScreenShot 2011 01 16 23 06 53 by s4bb

ScreenShot 2011 01 16 23 10 13 by s4bb

And here is the notification of transaction from GTBank:

A Few thoughts

There were those who felt that calling the bluff of the companies that we did was not constructive. I don’t know what they meant by that.

There were those who felt that what we needed to do was create our own app store(s). I sincerely felt that was somehow myopic and I said so. Do we keep isolating ourselves from the world by creating our own little clubs everytime someone shuts the door in our face? Where will that get us?

We have the population, the market, the sophistication, the drive, and the means to drive for inclusion. And where inclusion does not happen, we blacklist those who refuse. Simple. We have alternatives. If we didn’t have alternatives, that would be a different matter.

How About the Others?

Now we have not just Nokia/Symbian, but also RIM/Blackberry. Here at Mobility Nigeria, we will give maximum coverage to these and others who accord Nigeria due recognition. We will strive to see that they reap strong benefits from their including us in the scheme of things.

If the others choose to continue to ignore us, very well. We have options: Nokia, RIM, and others. Apple thrives on exclusivity, so Apple fans here in Nigeria might as well give up hope of ever getting any official support from Cuppertino. But who knows?

In the meantime, we shall see for how long Google/Android will ignore us. We shall see whether Samsung’s drive to make BadaOS devices everyone’s smartphones will allow them to ignore us for long.

But our point is made: we owe those who ignore our country nothing. This is not a winner-take-all face-off though. When they do come around, they will find that we forgive quickly and enjoy the traditional warmth and friendhsip that our country Nigeria is famed for. And if their products really do meet our needs, they will find a lucrative market much beyond their wildest imaginations.

Thanks to everyone who chipped in on this. This is our Nigeria. We can make things happen if we try.


  1. Good news from RIM. But for this article, I retract my vows not to buy any blackberry phone but to sink & swim with Nokia phones ONLY.We are indeed a very forgiving nation.I was about to start my campaign of calumny against RIM in my place of work today & trust me on this I would have been very successful.I pity Samsung & others who choose to ignore us in this wise because they are the biggest losers.

  2. This is really wonderful. I’m hoping others will follow suit, though I’m almost certain Apple will never do anything in that regard, at least not in the near future.

    Well done Yomi!

  3. i was surprised to see the blackberry application world open and download flawlessly on my phone. i agree completely with what you said yomi and very soon, apple will have no option than to open up their exclusivity to the nigerian market.
    good job that you’re doing here yomi, thumbs up to you and your team. i have a quick question though; is it possible to download a radio on a blackberry device as a software and have it work flawlessly as compared to phones which are built with the radio option.

  4. I believe your previous article and our supporting comments made RIM change their attitude towards us. They must be really scared of loosing market ground.

    Apple will probably maintain its exclusiveness, but Android and bada really have to take note and recognize us. I have DM @samsungapps several times about when paid apps would be available to the Nigerian market, and i always get the reply “Soon.”

  5. This is a good development. But yomi how did you get the visa card? and how do you load cash on it, to make payment for online stuffs. is there away you can help me with applications and i pay into your account?aleast that will reduce the stress from getting a card from the bank or can my naira master card pay for applications online? the main apps i need now is joiku and Kaspersky anti virus. thanks

  6. Lovely. This is what happens when we stand up to injustice. Keep quiet and grumble to ourselves will never get us our desired response.

    Your ultimatum to these fellows was truly impressive Yomi. Congrats.

  7. What Yomi and MobilityNigeria have achieved in less than 48 hours is impressive. I would love to congratulate them for taking the initiative and following it up to it’s logical conclusion.

    However, sorry for saying, more work needs to be done. I call for advocacy to guard against future occurrence. Pro-active Efforts like this one and need to write the NCC (Nigeria’s equivalent for FCC). Device manufacturers should be on their toes. Relevant Federal Government bodies should be outspoken Because Nigerians are not fools.

  8. Brilliant! I believe that they are finally recognising the power of Nigeria to take over when we pick up on something. Good Stuff!

  9. i have a quick question though; is it possible to download a radio on a blackberry device as a software and have it work flawlessly as compared to phones which are built with the radio option.

    toyinol, Yes; but only internet radio. I doubt if any BBs have the hardware to support FM Radio functionality.

  10. Big ups to MobilityNigeria for making RIM get our attention! All within the spate of 48 hours!

  11. Dats gud news for BB users in nigeria bt I tried the app world on my BB 8520 but same old story.

    And I would lik to upgrade my BB OS from OS 4 to OS 5 bt I dnt knw hw to go abt it. Pls I nid a little tutorial on that. Thanks.

  12. I tried launching appworld this morning and the result I got was, “the appworld is currently not available for your country”. I immediately opened the web based version with my phone connected to the PC. The web based version worked without issues. I was able to install an app on my phone directly from my PC.

    Really can’t give any explanation for this.

  13. My wife’s had access all night, downloading apps. Perhaps RIM’s servers are having issues, or some tweaking is being done on AppWorld. Whatever it is, keep reporting back guys.

    Meanwhile, an article is in the works.

  14. Hello Yomi,I use BB8900 (javelin) on mtn bis. Being an edge phone,I expect its capacity to be strict and confined,but then I get more of gprs service in my area. And on the occassions I’v had to get edge service when away from my area,it either doesn’t browse at all,or slow whenever it does browse. My OS is 4.6. Someone said upgrading it to 5.0 would do the magic. Don’t know if this is true.

  15. David-Leo,

    I do not have details of what OS 5 brings to the 8900, but I doubt that it will improve data speeds. The slow connection you are getting is more likely to be from your network.

    Still, if there’s an OS update available for the 8900, you should update.

  16. This is a very welcome development. Because not having access to the application market or not being able to buy apps from there gives you half the fun.

    Now lets hope Timothy Cook (Apple) and Larry Page (Google) remembers Nigeria.

  17. Had issues trying to download the app world. seems like that’s been solved now coz I tried today and I downloaded it.

    My question: I see on your screenshot you select VISA as payment method, but proof of purchase is from GTBank. Do they also do VISA now? Tried with my nairacard but didn’t go through.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *