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):
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.