Business is booming for RIM in Africa - Here's the low down

By James Richardson on 18 Aug 2012 04:20 pm EDT
When it comes to where in the world Research in Motion is dominating the market, Africa more than likely doesn't spring to mind. However, things are certainly going in the right direction for the Canadian company as BlackBerry seems to be a way of life for millions of people there.

Here are some interesting BlackBerry facts:

  • BlackBerry is the number one smartphone vendor in Africa (Q2 2012)
  • With six of the top ten selling smartphones BlackBerry is the leading brand in South Africa (June 2012)
  • BlackBerry have three of the top selling smartphones in Nigeria (June 2012)
  • The BlackBerry Curve 8520 is the top selling smartphone is South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt (June 2012)

The reason why BlackBerry seems to be so popular is pretty straight forward. Now having both pre-paid and post-paid BlackBerry Internet Service in Africa it's giving people affordable options to access all the great features the BlackBerry has to offer. Using services such as BBM, Facebook and Twitter means that borders and huge geographical areas are no longer an issue and the African BlackBerry subscribers are certainly making the most of that. An example of this is in Kenya where 40% of all Facebook logins are through a mobile device. In South Africa, BlackBerry was independently voted as the coolest youth brand for the second year in a row. In addition - the amount of BBM users in South Africa has increased by 47% over the past 18 months. Africa has actually now overtaken Latin America to be the second largest mobile market in the world. Asia still hold the number one spot, but with Africa increasing mobile subscribers by 30% per year on average over the last 10 years business is booming.

Taking a look at Nigeria as an example - things are really on the up. As well as the fantastic sales results, as featured above, RIM have now made the commitment to open an office in Nigeria for the first time - a true sign that BlackBerry is rocking the country! You may or may not be aware of the 'BlackBerry Babes' series of films which can be viewed on YouTube. They are an acquired taste but go to show that in Nigeria, BlackBerry is a very dominant brand and I'm told but a reliable source at RIM that the people there tend not to use the phrase 'BBM me' but instead 'ping me' is part of their normal vocabulary.

With OS 5, BlackBerry 6 and BlackBerry 7 smartphones being so popular across the region it only makes sense that the good people of Africa are also looking forward to the future and BlackBerry 10. The BB10 Jam World Tour has recently been over in South Africa and like in all the locations on the tour the excitement from developers was massive. The tour is also rocking Lagos this week as well as Kenya. 



Robert Bose, Regional Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa says:

"BlackBerry continues to grow from strength to strength in Africa and we're proud of our number one position in this market. The exponential growth of smartphones on the Continent continues to create significant opportunities for RIM and our partners, especially among the mobile development community. Mobility is a growth driver in Africa, bringing the Internet, social networks and apps to millions of people that are creating new businesses, using apps to teach, or indeed in the case of the iAfya app, saving lives with critical information. We're proud to support the African development community to take advantage of this growth in Africa, but also reach over 78 million BlackBerry subscribers worldwide.

He adds, "With such large and loyal customer base, and a growing community of developer partners, Africa remains a strategic focus for our business and is a key part of our future growth as we innovate to bring BlackBerry 10 to market next year."

With so much negative press surrounding RIM recently, discovering how successful they now are in Africa really is a breath of fresh air. Plus with the anticipation of BlackBerry 10 I suspect RIM's dominating position in the smartphone market in Africa is here to stay.

Reader comments

Business is booming for RIM in Africa - Here's the low down


Good for RIM, the biggest gripe I am beginning to have with RIM's approach is that they do not seem to be impressing enough or comminicating enought that even if you are on a budget BB7 Curves offer a much better BlackBerry experience. The 8520 had its run but it has fallen behind the times and the browsing experience is lacklustre.
I'd love to see RIM taking the BB7 Curves they launched right to these people so that they can enjoy the better experience and even have a better perception of BlackBerry.

Don't get it twisted. My comment has nothing to do with what you're implying it is. Do you even know what country I am in to make such a hazy claim?
I am just saying if you're touting your sales and mention the 8520 Curve (OS 5) as a strong seller then it means you are giving your customers a device that is two generations old when you have a newer ones (OS 7) priced similarly. Why are you going into a flap about something this obvious?
As a foot note: I have been to South Africa a few times my friend.

Correct my if I am wrong, but what I am getting from this post is NOT that other phones are not available BUT the 8520 is a best seller. So what I am understanding is that person choose to buy this one because it's more affordable. OS6 & 7 devices just don't sell as the 8520(OS5). I don't know, but please correct me if I am wrong.


No, you are not wrong which is why I am saying RIM need to highlight more that OS7 Curves are competitively priced but offer a much much better overall experience than OS5 Curves.
Imagine if you already love your OS5 Curve and you started using an OS7 one how you would feel? You would be over the moon.
I am just putting the onus at RIM's door to take better care of these people by presenting the updated hardware & software more aggressively.

From RIM:
"A lot of people expect that the only devices we would sell in Nigeria would be the 8520 or the cheapest phones," says Waldi Wepener, RIM's regional director for East, Central and West Africa. "But we sell as many at the high end.

"Because Nigeria is not a subsidised market, and operators don't subsidise devices down to zero, the price of the device at the user level is very visible. And that doesn't hold back the market."

Business is booming? More like cheap models selling how many Torch2's and Bold 4's are in that equation? I bet i could count the numbers on my right hand! Quit the public relations statements you are not in a good position in the US or worldwide and the money made on those pre-paid accounts are negligible just like we have in the Caribbean.

+1... Its the same situation in all third world countries. People buy blackberries for bbm because texting rates are extremely expensive in those countries. I doubt rimm is making much $ on a curve that sells for 200$ off contract.

Who cares what phone that they are buying? The point is that they are selling phones which in turn allows them to sell accessories and aps. The cost of the phone is irrelevant, selling 500000 phones at $200 is better than none at all.

+1, as long as they continue to build their subscriber base they will continue to make money and in turn be able to bring bb10 to market.

See the ignorance. I just got back from Nigeria or 9ja as it is known and do you know how many Porsche BBs I counted? Or you want to say it was the same one being passed around. My mum's driver get it driver uses the same 9900 as I do.

One fascinating thing I found with the prepaid plans is network carriers like Glo, MTN or Etisalat have daily, weekly, monthly and yearly plans.

Verizon has laid their infrastructure in the country and are looking to launch LTE.

So sir ignorant, before you yapp and remain local, I suggest you travel more or invest your time on knowing the rest of the world

Thank you!!! +1000000 crakie point for you. People like to talk ish bout things they don't know.

I live in Naija and there's no other country in the world where the people are soooo aspirational! The life of the average Nigerian redefines what "disposal income" means, Nigerians love to dispose their income on what they love, and No.1 on that list these days is a blackberry and the higher the spec the better! The 9900 is huge out here, followed by the Torch and the Porsche? You'd be amazed at how many people have one!

It never fails to amaze me how SOME Americans are all too willing to open their yaps with the "we ARE the world " attitude and display an astonishing level of ignorance. America is a very small portion of the global market, they just happen to have an outrageous and noisy preponderance of media who play fast and loose with the truth.
Don't be disparaging the African people when you have probably never even left your own county.
And if you are Canadian - then I am truly ashamed of you...

No my friend America IS NOT a small portion of the global market (economy). It is in fact a significant portion of it. A simple check will show you that it is in fact the size of the entire Euro zone combined. That, unfortunately, is nothing to sniff at. What you should be saying is that you do not have to be the leader in America (US) to make as a company.
The problem with the American market is that it dominates global opinion by an unproportional amount, that means nearly 8 in 10 opinions on tech are posted/made by America. And this means if America is saying you are in dire straits it is a matter of time before that statement reaches all corners of the globe and people start believing it. All marketing excutives in global tech companies know this. It is inconvenient but cannot be ignored.

I agree with you 100%. The US has a great hold on the market yes BUT people seem to be focus on them as "we are the world" <--- that is not the case. Around the world, blackberry phones are more affordable and do what the users want so they rather go that way. RIM will always have a strong hold on the market globally. I like the approach RIM is taking with BBX. Don't give out too much and I KNOW the OS will give back RIM the respect it has lost in the US. If it doesn't, that's ok, there are alot of other markets globally that will appreciate it.

#TeamRIM all the way!


Somebody suggested , on another tech site , that RIM should move their headquarters to Nigeria! Maybe that's the solution ! Concentrate on Africa and the third world countries. Forget about the US !

I agree, the US market is not reflective of the world market. People need to take off their blinders, I hear BlackBerry is still doing really well in Latin America and India, I hope that some of that success can translate into success in the North American market.

You're joking, right? It's not like RIM makes 3 dollars a month from each subscriber or anything. 250 million per quarter from services and growing each quarter. Clearly RIM isn't making any money off of these people....

From BNN: RIM generates significant revenue from the $5-a-month that each of its 78 million subscribers pays to use its enterprise services

So that would be almost $400 million a MONTH.

I live is South Africa, and mostly the people that are buying the 8520 are students. Average working class are now rocking 9900s, Torch 2s, etc.

I am Nigerian (though born in London ). You will surprised that alot of Nigerian using bb handsets can afford £200 handset. Yes I said pounds and not dollars. 90% of my BBM contacts are based in Nigeria and most of them are either on a torch or bold.

+1!!!! That's what market growth is all about. . .I'm not surprised at all that mid and high end BBs are fairly present in this market. . .It's unfortunate that us westerners assume so much absurd things about so called "third world" countries. . .I bet by the time BB10 becomes available in places like Nigeria that mid and high end BBs will be just as plentiful as the low end. . .

Omo abeg tell am. I bet you he probably thinks we live in trees and catch deers with our bare hands.

Oh yea! BlackBerry Rocks here in Nigeria, and who says we are buying curve 8520? hell no, its just a negligible few that will even look at such device for the second time. To be honest what most people use here are Bold 9900, Torch 9810, and most of the OS 6 devices, but I guess OS 6 devices are very much in use compared to others, the major challenge is due to the high cost of premium BB devices + no contract phone here in 9ja. But its BB all they way!

RIM has not discovered that there are more blackberry users than the iOS plus android in Africa particular Nigeria, 7 out of 10 people use a blackberry. Those that even use iOS or andriod still have a blackberry to complement their toys. 9ja rules....BB4life

I'm a citizen of Africa (South Africa to be precise) - and I think it's time that those in the Western World with its debt laden societies start realizing that the world's future does not depend on the Western World anymore. BlackBerry is better placed today than any other brand to support the business growth of the 3 largest mobile markets in the world; Asia (including China, India & Indonesia); Africa & South America (Brazil to be precise) at a cost which Apple & Android could never dream of doing thereby ensuring that 80% of the world's population will start competing with you as if we're in your backyard.

RIM & BlackBerry powering the Emerging Economies FTW!!

A Blackberry Lover & User of a Playbook & Torch9800!!

I agree.

Could you please tell the wall street journal what's going on in the world because they don't seem to get it.

i totaly agree with u ! Western people only care about how much apps they have ! Business, communication, and economics the must important things !

BlackBerry rules !

While I can understand your comment somewhat, what if the western worlds stopped sending you money and aid, stopped allowing people to manufacture in your countries, refused to lend you money, didn't help in times of famine or natural disasters what then would your economies do? Do you think if all the western companies suddenly stopped manufacturing in China that it would still be rich... they are facing low consumer demand they wouldn't be able to carry their own economy.

The tides of the future are changing yes, but they are changing to a more global response not west vs east. The Developing and International markets are always more important to RIM and always will be, I hope the best for their future.

LOL never laughed so hard in my life this is the ignorance people talk about. America cant pay its own workers this is why they outsource their work to these countries your so damn ignorant it hurts, if they stopped out sourcing and bringing back the work to their own country they would bankrupt themselves not just the other parts of the world.

the reason other people are thriving is yes they outsource but they cant bring it back either, and this yes helps the economy in other areas but its the fate America put them selves in.

North America is today market, as Apple is to RIM. However, the world is ever changing. They are emerging market from all over the world beside those of North America and Europe. Asia alone, beside China, there's India and Indonesia, second and third most populous countries in the world. Not to mention, South America, Middle East and the Continent of Africa. RIM might not surge in the immediate future,. If they are smart, these continents are the future market forces of the world.
Only those who are blind and self centered would ignore the huge potential that are emerging from these markets.

Sadly - African users are not worth nearly what an American or European user.

That said - subs are subs and they will keep RIM going until BB10 comes.

+1 I don't think that person realizes the underlying ignorant and racist undertone of his/her comment (or perhaps doesn't care)

There are more potential users in Africa then the US so I find your first point a tad zenophobic because as the article points out:

'Asia still hold the number one spot, but with Africa increasing mobile subscribers by 30% per year on average over the last 10 years business is booming. '

That's very good business growth on the way to excellent business growth.

"There are more potential users in Africa than the US..." While technically true in terms of bodies on the ground, a look at per capita GDP or Income would say that is not nearly as true in today's realities. Africa is a large continent. Countries above the Sahara like Qatar and Saudi Arabia certainly have as much buying power as their counterparts in the US and EU, but sub-Saharan Africa that's not nearly the case. 2010 per capita income in Nigeria is the equivalent of about $2300 - so it's unlikely the average Nigerian can afford to spend the equivalent of one month's salary on a smartphone, never mind the monthly charges. South Africa is higher at above $10,000, but again its hard to believe the "average" individual there has any interest in owning a smart phone that costs 200 dollars, pounds, shillings whatever.

None of that is xenophobic it's just what is likely to be true. I have not been to Africa but I have traveled extensively in South America and know that in the towns and villages, cell phones are usually held but a few individuals in business to sell service by the minute. Most of that business is done on dumb phones. I note the article uses a lot of percentages as factors of growth, but I would have interest in the actual numbers of smart phones sold there.

It's as much a number game as well when it comes to population. The very reason at the height of economy, North America consumer power command the much lower price when it comes to consumer products in comparison with the rest of the world. If you add up all the countries population where RIM has a stake in. Even by the smallest percentage of BB users in this countries, it will eventually out number many times the BB users in North America. Volume is everything. When you have a populations in billions to market for. These are the fastest growing regions in the world right now. There's a lesson to be learn from Ford auto industry. Instead of marketing to the well to do. He decided to target the average consumers and became one of the more successful businesses in America. You need to see the potential and think outside of the box. Western society did not begin with an immediate adaptation to the new technology either but it's one that we could not live without today. How is it different for the rest of the world? Africa or South America are not all we see from National Geographic or Discovery Channels. While our economy in this part of the world begin to shrink, the rest of the world is slowly expanding. Like if or not we are not the king of the hill anymore. Failing to grasp that reality will be the final nail to our coffin.

(but again its hard to believe the "average" individual there has any interest in owning a smart phone that costs 200 dollars, pounds, shillings whatever.)

Lol!! People like u just crack me up. So you think average South Africans aren't interested in everything a high end bb has to bring. For your information all my friends carry a high spec bb (and not because we are above what you call average South Africans),in fact we were just laughing at your funny remarks in a video chat on our playbook devices(yeah we have those too). Who pays 200$ for a device anyway when you can just get a contract or maybe you thought we didn't have those.

Maybe I could have said that better I'll grant that. My point is simply in countries where the average individual is earning the equivalents of $2000 to $10,000 a year - $200 is a huge percentage of their earnings. Whether you have a contract (yes we have those here in Pennsylvania) or not the phone isn't "free" the provider will get the money back and more from the user over time, as they do from me - if they chose to stay in business and my guess is they do. So one way or another you are spending this money for a phone, contract or not. As a percentage of per capita gdp, owning a BlackBerry in Nigeria is the same as owning a Ferrari in the USA, yes all my friends would love to have one (a Ferrari)but I know one who does. If you are not "above the average South African" you make about $10,000 equivalent a year (not my numbers - the World Bank's numbers for per captia income in South Africa - my guess is they have somewhat of the clue you seem to deny me). That you own a PlayBook and a high end BB phone with that income is great, though my guess is you earn a little more than that.

I didn't mean to say or imply that there aren't aspirational items for all the people of the world and I am sure that is true here in the USA as it is in South Africa folks aspire to own the things that will make their lives better and do whatever they can to achieve that goal.

In any case I am happy to have added a point of humor to you day.

Vodacom South Africa - 23 million subscribers - 2.4 million blackberry users, 450,000 Android users, and 250,000 iPhone users

While regaining market share in North America and Europe is a priority for RIM, continuing to address and support their customer base in Africa and Asia is very important. The people who are saying "So what?" are showing nothing but ignorance of the changes taking place in the world.

RIM has a chance to not repeat the mistake they made in the US where they had an explosion in growth but did not have a product ready for when the customers wanted more. With BB10 they will have a platform ready when more is demanded from the current BB6 and BB7 users in Africa and Asia.

It is also an area where RIM can better leverage their low cost data plans, In the US, Verizon and AT&T are more concerned with locking people into higher data packages than handing them a bargain.

In the next ten years, Africa alone will have more citizens in the "true" middle-class (spending $10-100 daily range) than there will be people in the United States. That is a customer base that cannot and will not be ignored.

Keep up the good work, RIM.

While the US market is very important as consumers buy the higher end phones, it is only 4.5% of the world's population. The % of US consumers who can afford smartphones is of course much higher than the world average so their importance is more than 4.5%, but it's important to keep in mind that the US market is not the world.

Good point, but it seems that in the rest of the world, the highest growth of high-end "high margin" smartphones are either with iPhones or Androids, not BB (take China for example with 1 billion phone users who are switching to iPhones and Androids at the high end, and for the lower end are using "local" brands. I think BB will only have 10% of that market in the next few years).

So BB definitely needs to have popular high end phones, eventually people will switch to something else, as evidenced in China.

Well, I would respectively disagree in regards to China. The New York Times ran an interesting article about China's smartphone market and how Apple is nothing more than a small time player limited to two city markets (in contrast to the hype). There are two primary problems, First, it is well recognized that China's infrastructure can't support the latest iPhones. Second, Chinese consumers prize practicality and price; thus they buy lower end devices focused on communication rather than apps. Sorry but for now, Apple is really going nowhere in China.

What a dumb comment... The US is the world's foremost economic and cultural power. If you don't have the US market, you have nothing.

The US market is so powerful, that tomorrow, if Verizon and ATT told RIM to stop selling phones in Africa, they would.

Population means nothing "in the real world". It never has.

This is jsut reaching for straws here. The reason Africa has chosen BlackBerry is because the handsets are dirt cheap, BBM is great and it is secure. No one has a need for LTE there etc.

But don't think for one second RIM is happy about this. It's not the amount of phones you sell, but what kinds and how much money you make off carriers. RIM could care less about the pre-paid market or budget market. Their bread and butter is enterprise and carrier contract phones.

This is why Apple makes a killing, and why Samsung has started to focus only on one or two flagship phones. It's also why Nokia is in dire straits.

In my opinion, the most important markets to be successful are the US first and foremost. Anyone who says otherwise is a fool. Then comes the Japanese and East-Asian tiger markets such as South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and then comes Europe (primarily the UK, France, Germany and Italy).

The emerging markets are of course China, India, Brazil etc.

Hey there

"What a dumb comment... The US is the world's foremost economic and cultural power. If you don't have the US market, you have nothing.
The US market is so powerful, that tomorrow, if Verizon and ATT told RIM to stop selling phones in Africa, they would."

You sound like a right wing politician right now. Can you hear yourself? You really ought to read The Economist more often and think like one too.

What do Verizon and AT&T have to do with Africa? You can pool the revenue those two produce and I'm sure it won't be the lions share from the total figures.

You are a serious clown. Go ask Verizon why they are launching LTE in Africa. Have you heard of "emerging markets"? I bet not.

Mind you, we buy handsets on contract here sometimes but in Africa you buy it unlocked. So an unlocked 9900 here that retails for $600 can retail for $900. When my 9900's crappy battery would not charge while on vacation in Nigeria, I walked into a BB store and bought the battery for $45. Yeah, its $25 on shop crackberry.

Do you know how many Porsche BBs I saw over there or was it thesame one being tossed around. I double dare matter of fact I triple dare Verizon and ATT to tell RIM to stop selling phones in Africa.

Well...I see that there is a reason your name is Madness. You took a hard left at the corner of 'reality', and 'completely nuts'.

Wow, your comment has to win most ignorant and uninformed comment of the year.

Sure, it would be awesome for RIM to regain a top tier position in the USA. But to say that the USA is all important is just ridiculous.

Lets take Huawei for example, they are the fastest growing smart phone maker in the world and have virtually no presence in the USA market at all.

Then after the USA, you list the worlds least important market as the one to aim for - Japan. It's so comforting to know you are not the person in charge at RIM. Japan is the most insular market in the entire world. If you're not Sony, Sharp, Panasonic, Hitachi, or Kyocera, you're not going to sell much in Japan. Plus Japanese carriers dictate there. NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and to a lesser extent Softbank literally tell manufacturers what phones to make. The second most insular market on Earth is your number three target market - South Korea. Pretty much the same story as Japan, if you're not Samsung or LG you don't sell well there. Hong Kong - not a country by the way - is a more diverse market and Global Brands do thrive there, but it's also a TINY market. It's an island CITY. A market like Nigeria is MUCH bigger then Hong Kong as the population is so much greater. Sure there are per capita more people in Hong Kong buying top tier expensive phones, but, there are more people total buying them in Nigeria because there are so many more people.

Your market strategy would see RIM go out of business in a matter of weeks. Your attitude that if it isn't America, it's not good leads me to believe you've never even been out of what ever State you cal home and likely never even out of the town you were born in. Get out, see the world, it's bigger then you imagine it to be.

Africa, India and the Middle East are markets that every manufacturer of smart phones in the world would kill to be number one in and would happily give up the US market entirely for. You have 340 million people, India alone has almost 3 times as many. Why would anyone take a few hundred million people and give up BILLIONS of potential customers? The USA is small and failing. You gave up your power and your economy is growing at a snails pace compared to Africa and India. AT&T is a tiny little ant and Verizon is half owned by Vodafone (a UK company, that RIM has a really good relationship with), thus why Verizon is already committed to BB 10

"Lets take Huawei for example, they are the fastest growing smart phone maker in the world and have virtually no presence in the USA market at all"

"You gave up your power and your economy is growing at a snails pace compared to Africa and India."

My friend, can you spot the economic fallacy in those two statements? Percentages mean nothing in this instance. You need to look at the raw numbers.

It's true that small, emerging economies grow faster than large, mature economies, but that really has little relevance to businesses. North America has right at 30% of the world's wealth. The United States and Canada are 2nd and 4th in terms of the world's most productive countries (per capita GDP). The United States is, this is off the top of my head, 3rd in terms of wealth per capita. This is nothing to sneeze at. If RIM is going to survive, it needs a substantial foothold in North America. Talking about "fastest growing" this and "fastest growing" that means nothing and just muddies up the waters.

Lets hold our horses here. No offence to Africa its a great country but isn't controlling the world mobile markets aft present, oh wait the US is Shock Horror. Rim needs to get Bb10 to market,UK still has RIM as no.1 mobile phone company yet how many stores does it have here? 0. If Iphone dropped their Sim free prices by £100 in the Uk how many people would seriously consider the iphone? Id be there in a heart beat, 1 thing you can say about Apple or a RIM competitor, when it says its gonna deliver on a set date it doesn't push back dates it gets the product out the door and delivers.

Africa is a continent consisting of 52 countries, Africa is NOT a country.

A Blackberry Lover & User of a Playbook & Torch9800!!

It's very encouraging to read this kind of news. I got given my first blackberry as a graduation gift five years ago and never looked back. I've managed to convert a few people to adopt Blackberry but recently, faith in them has been dwindling. In the last month, nearly a dozen friends adopted android phones. The companies behind android and iOS have incredible marketing campaigns and everyone's lapping it up big time. I was rather impressed by the iAfya app: not by the app itself but by the initiative of local Kenyan developers. BMM isn't what it used to be with apps like WhatsApp and Line providing the same service across diffrent mobile OS platforms. Sure it's got its perks but are the enough to make someone neglect 8megapixel (with autofocus) equipped smartphones? Blackberry Smartphone's have one thing pegged though, they do what they're meant to do very well and leave the rest in the dust but the "more" stuff that consumers need is where they fall short. I got my brother a blackberry for his birthday and first thing he said was "great! Now I can get instagram!" There's a lot to be desired.

I'm a devout fan of RIM and I'd love to see them rise to their former glory.

I hope that RIM get more involved with Africa. A lot of people misconstrue the brand. They don't understand it. Due to the lack of contracts and such, a lot of the handsets are out of reach save for the curve series of course. I was quite happy to see the 9220/9320 already at retail outlets here and for the same price as in other markets globally (Blackberry Smartphone prices here tend to get hyperbolised). Like someone mentioned in an earlier comment, Asia and Africa are the new markets to look at and harness its potential.

Lol, its amazing how people think everybody in Africa is dirt poor. A greater percentage of Nigerian blackberry users have Bolds. Not curves. Dont be ignorant. Its 2012, Africa is not full of cave men scrambling to get their hands on an 8520.

People too often tend to be ignorant of what is actually going on in the rest of the world. I'm sure some still think Africa is a country and everyone lives in huts.

I don't think anyone's saying everyone in Africa is dirt poor. However, the income distribution across most of Africa, and in Nigeria especially, is appalling. In other words, you have some VERY wealthy people in Africa but you have millions who are indeed dirt poor.

In fact, Nigeria has the lowest "wealth per capita" and "wealth per adult" figures in the world ( And, unfortunately, the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer and just have more children. Africa just doesn't have the demographics that attract large-scale investments from Western businesses. What is still lacking in Africa is a stable middle class.

Who IS investing in Africa? China, a totalitarian/capitalistic government that is willing to chance risky investments in Africa in order to extract the raw materials it needs for its own economic growth.

"BlackBerry is the number one smartphone vendor in Africa (Q2 2012)"


The current BB models are very data efficient which is what is needed in developing African countries where the mobile infrastructure is developing. BB10 will not help expansion into the African market because it will consume data like iOS and Android devices (i.e. not through BIS or BES).

#thatawkwardmoment When you realize that animals are not the primary mode of transport, that Aston Martins, Rolls Royce Phantoms and Ferraris are parked in front of what was initially perceived to be "huts" but evidently are massive mansions and that an 8520 is considered to be a RIM Handset you would only purchase for your 8-10 year old kid ...

You guys are seriously delusional that cheap market is slowly being erroded by cheap android devices that actually work better if anyone ever used a 8520 for browsing then you know exactly what I'm talking about Blackberry is in this sad state because they refused to change now even their prized enterprise market is under jeopardy from BYOD policies. BB10 while nice lacks the ecosystem of apps like Apple and Android and after using Blackberry for 5 years and seeing their app market move from 0 to what 200k maybe? BB10 being a whole new O requires new apps and if it takes them another 5 years to make that total they are truly dead! They should do the smart thing and license to multiple smartphone maker like Android that's the only way they will survive.

100% right. Now close your CB account and stop trolling. Go bask in the warmth and radiance of your truthfulness. Don't come back

Your ignorance is part of the reason Blackberry moved from #1 to #5 or 6 smartphone maker so who is the real fan???

Like I said you're 100% correct. Now close your CB account and go evengelise on a blog site other than CB. Like I said, I wish you had seen my initial comment before the CB mods removed it. You're disgusting and I'm ashamed you're from the Caribbean.

Interesting how you seem to want Blackberry to remain in the dinosaur age well its people like you who are the reason RIM is in this mess not owning up to the real issues like a lack of focus on change I bet you even loved the incremental upgrades from OS 4 to 7 am i right?

A true family member tells you the good and the bad. Positives and negatives. I have said countless times how RIM has sh*t the bed with what they've done in the past. The thing is when your family is down you don't beat them down further. I consider myself a part of the RIM/BB/CB family. Which family are you a part of? The kind that likes to wish ill unto others? Like Snoop said, "Let it be known then". Do your homework. Tell CB Nation how you have helped the community grow. I welcome you and any of your troll friends to CONTRIBUTE to the well being of the BB/CB community. We're all listening/waiting for your reply.

BYOD = big security leak

Thanks to BYOD, more corporates' top secrets will be exposed.A total idiocracy!

I bet Chinese corporations are smarted and will avoid BYOD.

I own a few Blackberries and iPhones and there are literally thousands of fantastic apps not the crap version of NOVA like what's in app world for Blackberry or limited original apps and dozens of copies of Instagram and Angry Birds RIM has limited apps and many are of limited quality they have a lot of work if they hope to catch up unless they are content being third or fourth.

They are putting in a lot of work in app development. I'm sure you've heard of the bb10 world tour series. We already know that QNX kicks ass and am sure that when bb10 hits the stores the apps will measure up.

it does not matter which models sells more or less, cheap or expensive one.. as long BB sells. This age is all about #s, # of users...loook at stupid Facebook, free service and yet numbers matters...these cheap models still pay to rim and rim makes money.

"I'm told but a reliable source at RIM that the people there tend not to use the phrase 'BBM me' but instead 'ping me' is part of their normal vocabulary"

Not quite what you're looking for i believe is "BB me" that's how we say it out here! BB me later, BB me that number, BB me your picture etc

Thanks for the input from our African brethren in Crackberry Nation. I apologize for the ignorance, stupidity and rudeness of some posters. However, even those people will be amazed at how much you can see once you pull your head out of your ass...

When folks in North America think about the cost of smartphones for people from the many different countries (54?) in Africa, I'm pretty sure we tend to think about it in North American terms. Here, we may get good deals on high-end smartphones if we sign up for a 2 or 3 year contract, but then we pay anywhere from $30 to $80 per month for our plans (data, features, # of minutes, etc.). On top of that, the vast majority of North Americans also have a land line, where they're paying anywhere from $20 to $60 per month for a combination of local and long distance calls. Basically, most of us are paying somewhere between $80 and $140 per month -- or $960 to $1680 per year -- for all of our phones.
I suspect the majority of Africans use one phone for all their calling needs -- their cell phone. So, we may be surprised that a Bold 9900 can command $800+ on the open market, but it comes unlocked, and gets put on a prepaid plan that typically costs 50 to 75% less per month than what North Americans pay for home phone plus smartphone.
No big point here. Just thinking aloud about a few differences between phone users in Africa and users in North America.

You're onto the truth there. It's a fact that 80%+ of all mobile phone usage in Africa (52 countries) is Prepaid, and considering that this is a Cash Based system and not based on Credit Accounts, it is much more profitable for the Network Operators & Service Providers. Continue with researching mobile phone network deployment and you'll see that Africa is using Mobile phones today as Bank Accounts, Education Tools & Medical Life saving Infrastructures, and not just BBM, Facebook or Twitter. Exciting times ahead for Africa!!

A Blackberry Lover & User of a Playbook & Torch9800!!

With 5+ trillion in debt and with new generations basically born bankrupt paying for that debt, the US haters have earned the right to shut up, Africa doesn't have that much debt.

Crackberry and " Cheerleader James " are trying to enthuse the Blackberry community with articles like "Fastest man in the world is using BB " ... "Olympic gold and BB - the perfect combination" ....." Business is booming for RIM in Africa ",................. while the ship of RIM is slowly sinking! :(

I don't know.
It isn't exactly difficult: Apple has cornered the US market, and carriers like it because they sell lots of bandwidth. Here in the UK, I am horrified at US contract prices. That business model just won't work elsewhere in the world.

A focus on emerging markets looks like a low end strategy until those markets have...emerged...and are running on your infrastructure. And the former economic leader now has a higher cost base than everybody else - big houses, big cars, expensive communications - and cannot compete with the rest of the world.


Wonder if it matters how well they're doing in Africa to Crackberry when they're firing thousands of employees at once and the few remaining workers are in deplorable working conditions. Look how grey Thorsten's hair's become in a few months.
Keep the positive bull coming. We already know how badly RIM's doing. Yay RIM is booming in Africa. Still losing market share worldwide.

So please, Africans, please continue buying the Curves 8520, 9360, 9220 and 9320. RIM loves you!

What is incorrect with this statement:

Rimm is growing but slower than iOS and Droid

Fwiw many here that are bullish are so from an investment perspective. Looking at facts rimm is far from dead. If rimm gets 33% of Africa and india, the stock sould explode.

I would like to believe that but unfortunately most of the smartphones sold in third world countries are very low margin phones that make RIM very little money. Nokia still gets huge sales volume from third world countries but is also doing poorly due to having a non-existent margin. Only high end phones net huge profits in the smartphone world, those low-end phones add lots of numbers and revenues but not a lot of profit.

You guys really think RIM sells a lot don't you? Why not petition Crackberry Kevin to do sound research on exactly how many Bold, Torch and Curve models are sold LOL

I guess RIM had slumbered for a long while which is why the likes of Samsung and Apple has driven it to the background.

RIM got too comfortable with the BBM and push email which were the major selling points of the BlackBerry. Then came along third party applications like Whatsapp, Palringo, ebuddy, etc which made instant communication a thing of ease. I remember before I got on the BB bandwagon, I had been a Nokia fan to the core and i had my Palringo as well as the push email service which was awesome. I felt then I didn't need a BB.

But the truth about technology in Nigeria were I'm from, it's an obvious fact that we Nigerians love the good life and we owe nobody any apologies for that and as such will love to be associated with the best of things life can offer. Go and ask the like s of Trium, Sendo and Sagem what happened to them shortly after the GSM services were introduced in Nigeria. They probably 'allowed' these network providers ship into Nigeria very low end mobile phones. But as soon as Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and others came in with better devices, the story changed.

I'm really surprised RIM just realised Africa can't be wished away in the scheme of things especially when it comes to dealing with Nigeria. Now, I'm really wondering what their R&D guys were doing all these years. Didn't they get the report that Nigeria had become the world's fastest growing telecoms market and as such should have established their presence here long before now. Nokia and Samsung had gotten a grip of this fact and wasted no time in opening offices here. Apple too, only just recently followed that direction.

But then, I must say it's not too late for RIM to get their groove back on. Nigerians, like I had said earlier are very ostentatious people who love to flaunt the good things of life they possess. With our network providers (MTN, Airtel, Glo and Etisalat) coming down in terms of their pricing, RIM should have no troubles pushing out their devices into the African market more than they ever did. The average Nigerian youth loves to surf the internet and would be all to glad to show the world he/she has arrived by way of a BlackBerry device ownership. I bet you, if the like of the 8520, 9220, 9320, 9360 could be made more affordable (ie under N30,000), sales would go CRAZY. Correct me if I'm wrong on this.

In any case, I say welcome RIM to Nigeria. God bless Africa.