RIM still commands plenty of attention...in Africa

RIM still commands plenty of attention...in Africa
In most of the world, the BlackBerry name just doesn't have the cachet that it once did. Still, there are pockets around the globe where a BlackBerry phone commands the same kind of attention and excitement as that empty Coke bottle in The Gods Must Be Crazy. Ironically, Africa is one of those areas where the BlackBerry name is greeted warmly. Earlier this year, we told you how 5,000 South African voters age 8 through 22 selected BlackBerry as "the Coolest Cellphone", "the Coolest Hi-Tech Gadget" and the "Coolest Brand Overall".

That is only part of the story for RIM in Africa. As of the second quarter of the year, BlackBerry was the number one smartphone vendor in the country with six of the top ten smartphone models as of June. In Nigeria during June, the top three selling smartphones in the country all wore the BlackBerry brand. In Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa, the top selling smartphone was the BlackBerry Curve 8520.

The BlackBerry Curve 8520 was atop the charts in three countries in the region last June

The BlackBerry Curve 8520 was atop the charts in three countries in the region last June

Just why is BlackBerry doing such brisk business in the region? Part of the reason is that BlackBerry Internet Service is now available in Africa for both pre-paid and post-paid service, making it more affordable to go online. Additionally, thanks to social networking sites, every corner of the world is within reach. This combination of cheaper mobile access and the reach of social networking sites can be summed up in one statistic. In Kenya, 40% of Facebook logins are through a mobile device.

With the number of  BBM users in South Africa rising an impressive 47% in the last 18 months, BlackBerry sales have helped Africa become the second largest mobile market in the world with business rising 30% a year over the last decade. BlackBerry has just opened an office in Nigeria, and in many ways the BlackBerry fans in the area are no different than the fans in any other country as they also look forward to the release early next year of BlackBerry 10.source: Crackberry

Related phones

Curve 8520
  • Display 2.6" 320 x 240 pixels
  • Camera 2 MP
  • Battery 1150 mAh

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45 Comments

1. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

this is a great news to RIM and BlackBerry Phones... but RIM should take note that curve 8520 is the best selling... its a low end smartphone... so BB10 should really target low end on these market... in africa and asia too!!! they could also target high end but just price right...offer to post paid but cheaper.. (like i said they should do what nokia and microsoft did to lumia 900, a flagship phone on a cheap plan!) they shouldn't go to the price of high end androids and iphone...they need to value these markets coz little green robot might take it too.... these markets (africa and asia) are all looking forward to a BB10 device... we love blackberry here.... i wish BB10 and RIM the best.. they will rise and be back on top again... the competion needs more player!

6. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

blackberry is also the number 1 smartphone in indonesia, with over 57% of market share, but bb is far behind compared to the android and ios

13. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

Yah is said Asia right?! Wasn't Indonesia part of Asia? But they really need to get more market!

2. Tarkio

Posts: 30; Member since: Jan 17, 2012

Being number one in any market is a good sign. Not everywhere has the same needs, so they are obviously keeping people happy there. But Africa has perhaps the strongest future of growth in the mobile area. The penetration rate is still pretty low compared to much of Asia, Europe and North America. But it's rising rapidly. Good for Blackberry. They are definitely in a major slump while we wait for 10, but a couple of years from now we may well be laughing at how anyone though they might actually go out of business.

4. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

yeah... and they need to treasure that markets.... but just look at what is the best selling blackberry in that market, its a low end smartphone the 8520... so RIM needs to make BB10 on low end market!! price the upcoming device right... and not on the range of the competing androids and iPhone... like i said... they need to do what nokia and microsoft did to lumia 900... and look at what happen.. it get some love... and AT&T 2nd best seller for weeks... so i think they really need to do the same... and they need to be as friendly to the devs... they need to full the app world! but ones they got speady market.. devs will just come around...

3. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Voted by users from age of 8 to 22? So that's the right segment for BB to pay attention to?

15. SlimSoulja86

Posts: 660; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Yes. Im a South African, and we even call BlackBerry "Student Card" as more than 70% or so of students at my college who uses smartphones use BlackBerry Devices, due to BIS. Its even got to the point where everyone thinks we all have BBM PINs. So BB is regarded a cool brand cos most people can afford to buy one and with cheap internet. Since smartphones cost an harm and a leg in South Africa. And iPhone is the most expansive cellphone, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S3. So yeah, BB should pay attention to that age group in South Africa, business people no longer bother themselves with BB, but go for Android, iOS and Windows Mobile.

5. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

only developing country that still use blackberry, especially in asia and indonesia (except singapore rim = rip

8. wendygarett unregistered

Which mean they have a happy life compare to the US where ios and android wars everywhere I can't imagine the place where there only rim and Symbian

16. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

both android and ios is better than blackberry....

7. wendygarett unregistered

Glad they are not ifans :D

9. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

This article is called "hateraid". Plain and simple in the US Rim is not that great but around the world, they still sell.

18. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

It sells to "I am a BB Boy/Girl" group primarily because of BBM. Take that out and it's a useless device even for that age group.

10. ryq24

Posts: 872; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

those nigerian syndicate must be using blackberry to see who replied to their scam!

19. Glim12808

Posts: 394; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Wow good news for RIM! Based on this article, RIM should be in a healthy position. So why have they reported losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars for the last 3 straight quarters! So what's wrong?!!

21. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1126; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Yep, it is indeed true, BlackBerrys are huge here in South Africa, i was also tempted to get one, but they are awful things, they are slow, have a dated UI, lack apps and games, terrible web browser and have weak hardware (Camera, CPU/GPU, RAM, battery, displays, and built-in memory). My GS2 makes mince meat of all my friends BBs, some of them are sick of their BBs and are looking at moving to iPhone and Android. The very moment our networks sort out their data prices we are going to see a major shift from BB to iPhone and Android, but for now, if you're on a tight budget and a phone for social networking and a bit of internet browsing and downloading, BB is the way to go here.

22. karoafriyie

Posts: 19; Member since: Aug 19, 2012

People in Africa actually are not informed on the goodies of android that is why they stick with the likes of rim. i introduced android to a friend and he went crazy all over it

26. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Welcome to Freedom..... true said. +1.

30. sansam100

Posts: 13; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

We are well aware of android and ios I own both iphone4 and 9900 but the data plan is so high to be using ios, it can use two dollars overnight just for notifications,so the blackbery is the only way out till cheaper deals on data plan come by. Any am a big apple fun and I think android is pretty cool too. So that's to say that we are informed

27. jack1059

Posts: 72; Member since: Mar 31, 2012

This points to a major problem Ive had with tech reporting for years. Most tech writers / sites focus solely on whats going on in the US market (and maybe the UK / Europe) and fail to look at worldwide statistics / usage. BB may be dying in North America, but as stated it sells well in Africa (and the UK). Just broaden your horizons when writing. Your supposed to be the experts. And something as big as Number 1 in Africa and great sales in the Uk would make a huge impact on how BB carries out its operations, while all who focus on just the US stampede to the "RIM is dead" headline.

40. JunkCreek

Posts: 407; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

BB is great in Java model phone (BB7 is Java based OS) for the ONLY MAJOR FEATURES ARE BBM AND REALTIME email & notification. Java best phone ever (SE) didn't have that feature. Android data is cheaper anyway. You can switch on/off the data connection and you can also switch on/off data background connection for sync function. Just use it as needed. I rarely turning my data background connection on and I rarely sync my phone online. I prefer SD Card sync over time. I only do online sync a month or two but had everyday SD Card sync. Yeah, that require me to have a h3ll big of external SD Card and I just buy the cheaper one, keep it and use it carefully. On BIS, with IDR 50k, I can only do browse, BBM, attacment (up & downloading) and Social Net, but using Android, I have IDR 50k for 512MB fair use for unlimited connection a month (they preserve the speed from 312 Kbps to only 56 Kbps. Or I can just use limited quotas for IDR 25k for 512 MB to use in a month. So I can get 1 GB limited quotas a month. But, there are also SIM that use only for modem (no voice data) with rate as much as IDR 100k for 6 GB fair use data plan with unlimited connection use for a month (preserve speed when fair use quotas reached). I don't know for Africa. But, that's enough for me for downloading an mp3s, videos or anything. And also I had unlimited size if attachment to be download (depends on carriers email server, as for yahoo it only allowed as much as 25MB and for gmail it allowed 50MB).

41. JunkCreek

Posts: 407; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

oh, h3ll, but I do online (connected to internet) 24 hours a day -man, that as much as a whole day-. yeah, I online everyday, but not to sync my data only for notification and browsing and searching and downloading and uploading and streaming (rarely, instead I just downloaded the movies) and free sms site and ect and etc.

42. JunkCreek

Posts: 407; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

FYI US$ 1 = +- IDR 9.7k - 1Ok

43. Seannyc

Posts: 59; Member since: Jul 21, 2012

My joke of the day : wats news "Black" ppl uses "black"berry XD Jk Jk no offense to anyway

44. sansam100

Posts: 13; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

What's no ofence abt it, Africa is not only made by black race u should know that first

45. sansam100

Posts: 13; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

On my iphone I subscribed 2 gig for 400 rand per month an still ends before end of the month but on ma blackbery its 59 rand a moth I only miss streaming,so blackbery is the way to go in such a situation. The exchange rate is 8 rands per dollar

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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