Why BlackBerry is “cool” in South Africa

RIM says that their ability to offer connectivity and attractive value propositions has fuelled BlackBerry growth in South Africa

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BlackBerry remains by far the most popular smartphone platform in South Africa, and according to Research in Motion (RIM), flat rated Internet access, BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), and BlackBerry’s connectedness keeps them ahead.

“Our customer insights show that BlackBerry people are hyper-connected, use more organisational tools, interact with more people than other smartphone users, and believe that BlackBerry allows them to do more, get things done and to stay ahead,” said Bob Bose, regional MD for RIM Africa.

Bose added that the wide range of BlackBerry devices and the affordable BIS connectivity packages make it the service of choice for many consumers. “For R59 per month for pre-paid and post-paid options, the BlackBerry Internet Service offers unlimited on-device Internet browsing and e-mail access,” said Bose.

Another selling points is BBM, one of the largest mobile social networks in the world. “There are more than 55 million active BBM users worldwide and 70% of them use it daily to communicate with friends, family and colleagues,” said Bose.

“BBM penetration in South Africa is amongst the highest in the world – 98% of the local BlackBerry user base uses BBM. It is also the most downloaded free app from BlackBerry App World in South Africa.”

BlackBerry’s strong presence in the youth market is fuelled by smart marketing, said Bose: “We focus on direct engagement with the youth through campus events, campus ambassadors, secret gigs, extensive advertising, and competitions such as the recent ‘Touch Awesomeness’ campaign”.

Bob Bose

Bob Bose

Further growth expected in SA

Bose said that they are confident that they will continue to see strong demand for BlackBerry in the South African market.

“According to GfK Retail and Technology, BlackBerry is a leading smartphone vendor in South Africa in March 2012 and three of its devices were leading products within the Smartphone market over the month,” said Bose.

“RIM retains an excellent position within the rapidly growing smartphone market. In fact, we retain the number 1 position in many markets around the world including Indonesia, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Caribbean, Nigeria, South Africa, Mexico, Central America and Latin America,” Bose pointed out.

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