Some interesting BlackBerry statistics from Nigeria

By James Richardson on 3 Dec 2012 12:27 pm EST

In the run up to the launch of BlackBerry 10, many bloggers/journalists are still very sceptical about RIM's success looking into the future. Over the last year or so many have slated this may be to due to the decline in BlackBerry sales in North America. But the U.S. is only a small part of the world.

We have featured BlackBerry news from Africa more frequently over the last few months and things in that neck of the woods are going great for RIM. Take Nigeria for example - there are 4 million smartphone users in Nigeria and 46% of them use a BlackBerry. That's a big chunk of marketshare from where i'm sitting.

Having a BlackBerry has almost become a status symbol in Nigeria and you can't really blame them. It may well be a cost thing as RIM offer both high and low range BlackBerry smartphones and it seems that Apple have not yet made their mark in the country - again, this could be down to the price of hardware.

BBM is clearly a big part of the attraction. 95% of Nigerian BlackBerry users take advantage of BlackBerry Messenger which is a lot higher than the global average. With a free or low cost instant messaging client on most Nigerian carriers it makes perfect sense that using the service and having a PIN is almost more important than actually having a phone number.

"The BlackBerry has become a product central in the aspirations of a lot of Nigerians, but, crucially, one which is affordable," says Waldi Wepener, RIM regional director.

"The most common misconception about what we do here is that we are mainly selling the cheaper models. The reality is that there is a hierarchy even within the BlackBerry owning class and we sell right the way through the range from $200 to $500 handsets," Mr Wepener says.

So while we only have just over 60 days to go until the official BB10 launch event I think that the stats from Nigeria are living proof that BlackBerry 7 is going to be around for some years to come. Although there will be a transition to BlackBerry 10, RIM will need to provide low cost handsets to cater for certain parts of the world. I somehow suspect they may already have this in the works though. They seem to be doing everything else right on the run up to launch.

Source: FT

Reader comments

Some interesting BlackBerry statistics from Nigeria


And what exactly is wrong with Nigeria???

I hate it when ignorant idiots, say what they do not know, what exactly is so wrong with Nigeria that they can't even be used as a positive example that RIM isn't as dead as the media claims it is?

Please enlighten is oh enlightned one

What kind of ignorant comment is this? Everyone is not as privileged as you seem to be and alot of people actually live within their means unlike the majority of us in the USA.

The fact that RIM is selling to a niche market and succeeding is the epitome of good business sense. Kudos to RIM for empowering people who can't afford a f'ing iPhone to stay connected and meet their other mobile needs without spending 25% or more of their annual income.

Please explain how is a dollar coming from Nigeria worse than a dollar coming from US.
Keep going, I'm listening :)

It's simple, a USA BB comes with a monthly SAF, Nigerian BB's don't. Therefore a US dollar is only the same as a Nigerian dollar(or 157.17 Naira's to be exact) at the time of initial sale.

To put it in perspective, the revenue for RIM from SAF's has been about $4B / yr (Fy 12 & 13). Arguably if RIM did not have this revenue these past couple years they could very well be bankrupt and not in the position they are in.

Shame on you for downing a nation. The people from Nigeria are our friends and our family. They are our BBM buddies. Please do apologize, and show them that we respect them as a nation, and a wonderful country !

Not sure if your comment was directed at me or original comment. If it was at me then wtf are you talking about. The comment I responded to was "isn't a US$ the same a N$". My answer was it is to a certain degree, but only at the time of initial purchase - if device in question is sold for the same price.

I'm simply pointing out there is a substantial, long-term revenue model for BB's sold in the USA via SAF's (Service Agreement Fees) then in Nigeria.

Over a three year period, for example, RIM stands to gain a lot more from a US customer in terms of revenue then a Nigerian one, if of course the customers you're comparing keep their device for that time.

And since in Nigeria most BB plans don't have SAF's, one could argue that it actuality costs RIM to run data from Nigeria through the NOC.

I'm just pointing out that not all customers are not created the same, so its hard to make a direct comparison. RIM has different business models for different regions... not "downing a nation" like your over dramatic, ridiculous and offensive in it's own right comment suggests.

And here I thought only technology get outdated. Apparently some human brain do regress. If you don't watch it, you might turn back into reptile and slither away into unknown.

Wow! Yet another post by an inexposed ignoramus! Could this be a display of the kind of intelligence common in "developed countries" I wonder?

80 mio suscribers. 46% of 4 Millionen in Nigera - close to 2mio in Nigera. Not that small this number....

wrong perception, the fact RIM is penetrating the Nigerian market only shows how far they've reached globally and Nigeria is the biggest cellphone market in africa and one of the top 5 in the world.

RIM has finally started getting their directions right by identifying their needy customers and giving them an ear

An iPhone in Nigeria makes a decent paper weight, but is completely useless as a communication device. The iPhone was not built in a bandwidth scarce world. Indonesia (all those islands), its the same thing.
Betting on the iPhone in those markets, is a bet on infrastructure - silly seeing as Britain only recently launched its 4G effort.
Which is why I say that RIMM at $70/share is just as likely as RIMM at $35/share and I think the out-of-the-money-calls reflect that.

Actually an iPhone works pretty darned well especially on etisalat up to HSDPA very fast indeed! BlackBerry rules because no other data package is as affordable and reliable as the various packages of BIS, and of course there's no other qwerty that compares with a bb physical qwerty

This kind of stat shows just how ego-centric the North American media is and also how ego-centric and myopic the North American markets are.

Perceptions depends on few things, one of it is agenda. That's also one of the reasons why some people don't care current RIM's improvements and keep saying bad things about it. Heck even I've been flagged as spam on one of tech journalist's fb status, just because I put a link to an article here when she posted bad things about RIM lol.

Just wondering if Nigeria has a 3G network because if it does not then BB10 phones will likely suffer the same fate as the iPhone. Without 3G, BB10 phones would be like sticking regular gas into your Ferrari! (I've been told).

i really dunno how the media portrays Nigeria or Africa, most people imagine huts and mud houses once Africa is named, you could not be more wrong, Nigeria has 4 major GSM and one CDMA network Offering BIS, all claiming 3G and EVDO speeds, now the speeds may not be stellar but they are available and functional

Ever traveled to nigera? Ever did a video search? Stop being so damn ignorant and go there and see how much has changed. Of course I've never been there before in my life, videos nigerians have posted to the web show it's a vibrant city and country. Drop the stereotypes.

The biggest potential for growth in the Smarphone market is in emerging markets. Don't get me wrong, The North American Market still has room (Smartphone penetration is high but there is still a ways to go. . .) RIM may not have positioned themselves to take advantage of smartphone trends in the States, but it seems likely that they are in a good spot in emerging markets. Some have said smartphone use and penetration in emerging markets might be larger and happen faster than it has in Western markets. Stats like what we see above makes me think it may actually be true!

Population of Nigeria is half the population of the US. What is a smartphone worth? Think down the road a couple of years and there is no reason to think that a $400, $200, $50, or even $10 "smartphone" penetration in Nigeria will be any less than it is in the US but it may take several years to get there. People are NOT generally stupid and emerging markets are only emergent for so long. They then become developed markets. I don't think mobile technology pundits understand the enormous and rapid shift happening on our planet. Think about what you do for a living and then you need to ask yourself "Can I out compete that guy from country X Y or Z?". For more and more people the answer is they can't.

Even me a RIM supporter is somewhat underwhelmed by this news. No reflection on the great nation of Nigeria it's just that they're one market in one country on one continent.

Damed by faint praise can hurt more than by flat out least we're used to that !!

lol !

Nigeria and South Africa. Two of RIM's most successful markets. Blackberry dominates. These two countries hold over 22% of the population of the entire continent of 1 billion people.

This is not insignificant.

"the decline in BlackBerry sales in North America. But the U.S. is only a small part of the world. "

And the US is but a part of North America. Blackberry is still very popular in Canada (6% of sales last quarter) and Mexico.

The loving people of the U.S.A. will be smashing their iPhones and their Droids on the sidewalk the moment they put a BB10 in their hands.

The US security officials were quick to pass the security test on the BB10 because they want the BB10 ASAP. The top departments can't have any other phone. BB10 is the only secure phone on the market. It is encrypted phone to phone communication. No other phone has this.

Can I have a few million PLEASE !

RIM .... Please take my money. I need a BB10 as soon as they are ready.

What? Why would I smash my phone? BB10 needs to not only be at feature-parity with the rest of the market but have some game-changing features. You think RIM had enough time to accomplish all that? I doubt it.

Just like someone said, Nigeria is not a jungle with naked men, there are lots of blackberry users and abusers there,even developers. So if there are 4 million smartphone users in Nigeria and 46% of them use a BlackBerry that is something for RIM.

I'm actually running a survey on the Blackberry 10,and it shows that many nigerian blackberry users are eagerly waiting for the. BB 10.

This is just temporarly!. When the people get more money in their pockets the want to have iPhones and Samsung Galaxy not cheep BB Curvs! It's actually happening right now.
The African market is soo unsure!

I can tell you one thing for sure, in all my travels across the globe, I have seen more BB Porsches in Nigerian hands than I have seen anywhere else.

You do need to get to grips with reality, the high end Torch 9800 & 9810 and the Bold ranges are all in the wild in Nigeria. The curves are issued by companies just as they are standard issues for NA companies.

The world is global and so is the consumption.

Wake up, smell the clean air and do some traveling. Stop being so closed-minded and ignorant. You don't know WHAT ANYBODY will want to spend their hard earned money on. Get a grip on reality, stop being so stereotypical. NORTH AMERICA ISN'T THE ONLY COUNTRY!!

Shame to the few who think north/america is the only region. You've never been to other countries to even KNOW what it's like. I have been to mexico. I haven't been to europe or north or south africa or asia, or russia, germany, sweden, japan, nigeria or china. One day I will. I'll bring back videos of it. I appreciate more things than you ever will. Ignorance STINKS.

If most of the users in USA prefer apples then let them have it. Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique etc we only love juicy and tasty BlackBerry´s.

Nigeria is a big market for BB, especially for the Pingin stuff.. There is also a growing number of BB users installing viber and PTTJapan voip apps to make calls both domestic and international..viber is good for texting but the PTTJapan is great for voice calls on my BB and when I call locally it looks 10NGN per minute which is cheaper than when I use my GSM..

I am a Nigerian that love to use BBM in my native language and Pidgin English among my peers. I get so frustrated with the auto correct that changes my text and i don't realise it until after I had sent the text. If this percentage of Nigerians use BlackBerry how come the Nigerian 3 major languages (Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba) has not be added as a language of choice in the BlackBerry Language and Input setting. What language is (Afrikaans) It dose not make sense that BlackBerry loves aur money but can not make it easy for us to enjoy using our device to text using our native language. @blackberryhelp @ustyne #BB9jaLanguages #JustSaying