RIM has truly taken the developing world by storm. And Africa, in particular South Africa is a budding example of this. While RIM is still #3 everywhere in the world, they maintains a stronghold in Africa due to many factors highlighted in a recent article by The Globe and Mail. Of those include BBM as a tool used to replace texting, the relatively cheaper price of the phones you can pick up lower end models such as BB Curves for very reasonable prices and the trendiness of having a BlackBerry a phenomenon we had here in America from 2002-2007. While there are iPhones and Androids the majority of people in Africa are all about their BlackBerry.
It’s fun to look at how the mobile world is being influenced by cellphones/smartphones. And because RIM is a global company I believe they see a much bigger picture than we do here in America. Heins has stated in many interviews that not jumping on the 4GLTE bandwagon hurt RIM, as people ran to Androids when they couldn’t afford iPhones. The iPhone 5 is the first iPhone to support 4GLTE and also touts a bigger screen, things select Android OEMs had been doing years prior. Such as HTC, Samsung, Sony and LG. Let’s look at the spread of 4GLTE because it better explains why RIM has taken so long to introduce BB10:
As you can see LTE still isn’t everywhere, and until it is everywhere why make an LTE phones? in 2013 LTE will be a much more viable technology. Apple understands this mentality–back in Novemeber, 2011 BlackBerryOS 7 hit the market and it had forward looking features such as advancements in Bluetooth and even Near Field Communication. A technology Samsung has been recently touting as if it invented it. But us BlackBerry users have had it since last year, and these advancements help bridge the gap between OS7 and the long road to BB10. iPhone just started supporting LTE because frankly HSPA+ was good enough. iPhone/Apple doesn’t think NFC is worth their time and the super scratch-able aluminum back of the iPhone 5 means it will never be able to support NFC. Something we’ll likely see next year with the iPhone 6 or 5S… Waiting until LTE matures helps BB10 because it will raise the users experience level from the majority of the world who let Blackberry fall out of their consumer mind at BBOS5.
People don’t realize how insignificant the American market is in comparison to the rest of the world. India for instance has over 1 bilion smartphone subscribers. While America has around 350 million. Where would RIM rather be? Everywhere else is the answer. They fell off in North America long ago and have taken their time releasing great handsets from OS5-OS7 and building out their security infrastructure across 650 carriers all around the world. This is the weapon that will amplify the BB10 in Q1, 2013. Indonesia, China, India, Latin America all of these places have more mobile users than North Ameria and specifically, more mobile users that are still using BlackBerrys. While Africa may claim BB as number 1 smartphone right now. When BB10 comes out the entire world may well follow suit. You ask anyone in these other nations how they feel about phones and they’ll tell you. iPhones and BlackBerrys are “high-end” specialty devices, and Android is simply the poor mans smartphone. The brand is still viable and strong and they are making their moves to re-secure the throne they held for half a decade before we knew what an “iPhone” was. Stay tuned to NerdBerry as we’ll be delving more and more into the other markets to discuss the massive potential RIM/BB1o have as they head toward launch! If you’ve got a BlackBerry or Playbook download our NerdBerry app and stay informed mobile!