RIM plans to provide affordable smartphones to gain new markets in Africa
The BlackBerry community is getting bigger and bigger. Although recent reports show that Apple's iPhone has been outselling BlackBerry Devices in Canada, RIM is doing their very best to reach other markets across the globe to get back on track. We can not deny that BlackBerry smartphones are considered as one of the expensive phones, not only in Asian countries but to some African countries as well. That is the main reason why some mobile providers have been investing in other manufacturers, like those from China, in order to get more markets especially in third world countries.
At the moment, RIM is planning to invest on reducing the prices for BlackBerry smartphones to increace its market share in Africa. Nokia did not have any issues with mobile phones in Africa due to their affordable price, reason for them to become one of the leaders in providing smartphones in the region as compared to others.
"Africa is a strategic and important part of RIM's future growth and we are committed to investing accordingly. During this growth period, RIM is, of course, required to assess the timing of launches across the continent based on resources available." said Waldi Wepener, a RIM spokesperson.
This is a good news to some mobile users as RIM mentioned that they will continue to provide better and stronger communications features and services in Africa at affordable prices. This also means that they will have the opportunity to enjoy the great services BlackBerry can offer and at the same time worry less in the financial matters. Wepener added that their major selling point is the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) which is considered to be one of the biggest social mobile networks in the world with more than 55 million active users worldwide. He mentioned that the BBM influence in African markets is the highest among the other countries, as most BBM users are the youth market which enables them to exchange text and voice messages, pictures and videos and stay connected with each other anytime, anywhere.
Of all the issues RIM is facing now, lack of apps is said to be number one on the list. They lack developers on the platform as compared to iOS and Android which impact with their sales growth. Still, the developers are working on it in South Africa but they are having a hard time trying to interest the developers based in East Africa. RIM just recently provided donations in the form of smartphones and tablets to mLab, a co-working developer in Nairobi, in order for them to engage Kenyan Developers. The interest of developers will depend on the investment they can give in the community.
"The partnership with RIM allows for dialogue with developers coding for the platform and provides a space for public and private sector to explore BlackBerry solutions and provide business opportunities to the developers," said John Kieti, mLab manager.
I know its still not too late for RIM to take this opportunity to widen their markets in Africa not only to gain profit and to get back from where they were before in the industry but also to provide excellent mobile phone experience and services across the nations.