Why BlackBerry rules in SA

It is no secret that South Africa is “BlackBerry country.” While official smartphone market share figures are not available, estimates suggest that BlackBerry is growing faster than any other cellular brand in the country.

According to recent research from World Wide Worx, BlackBerry has a 4 percent mobile phone market share in South Africa, but this is set to grow significantly in the coming months and years.

World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck revealed that 24 percent of consumers claim that their next handset will be a BlackBerry, well above the 3 percent for Apple’s iPhone (which is seen as another strong future brand in SA).

According to Goldstuck the main reasons for BlackBerry’s success in South Africa are:

•    Affordable flat rated Internet access model (priced at below R60 per month)
•    The cost of a high end BlackBerry device is accessible to the prepaid market
•    BlackBerry’s messenger service (BBM) growing in popularity

Another factor which is often forgotten is RIM South Africa’s successful repositioning of BlackBerry as a consumer and business brand instead of only a corporate brand.

Arthur GoldstuckBlackBerry devices are as popular as ever with people in suits but now school children, students and young professionals are all viewing BlackBerry devices as desirable phones, rather than merely a corporate tool.

With the growth of BlackBerry in South Africa it is hardly surprising that Cell C last year launched a BlackBerry service to compete against MTN and Vodacom.

8ta is also set to launch BlackBerry offerings soon. 8ta executive Zoltan Miklos said that they are planning an innovative BlackBerry service which will give consumers a reason to use 8ta instead of Vodacom, MTN or Cell C.

The details on 8ta’s planned BlackBerry offering remain sketchy, but it may well be a model which combines the benefits of current BIS and BES services.

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Why BlackBerry rules in SA