BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Still First Choice for Users In South Africa, Nigeria


BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) market share globally may be less than 1% (from the high of 20% in 2009), but in some of the countries in Africa, the Canadian firm still enjoys the same popularity as earlier, according to

A few years back, Blackberry was second only to Nokia in terms of the marker share, however, both these smartphone makers are lying low now. The Finnish firm sold its handset division to Microsoft while the Canadian firm is battling its way to success.

Glory days over?

In 2010, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) boasted of having more smartphone users in the U.S. than those using the iPhone or Android. However, from the high of 20% in 2009, market share for BlackBerry has been sliding to 14% in 2010, 8% in 2011, 3% in 2012, and less than 1% currently. Even now, there are regions, where BlackBerry gets the same respect as it was a few years back.

According to a recent South African Vodacom survey, BlackBerry Curve 8520 has been the most popular smartphone in South Africa for the last four years. Also, BlackBerry devices such as 8520, 9300 and 9320 have dominated the market garnering 23% of the market share. A similar trend is noticed in Nigeria, where Blackberry commands around 40% of the market.

Why is BlackBerry popular in developing world?

Several reasons contribute to the popularity of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) devices in the developing world. It has been noticed that in Africa, users upgrade phones less often than their western counterparts. This is evident from the fact that the top selling device in the region is a three-year old BlackBerry model, according to

Also, people in these region consider Blackberry a strong brand, and owning a BlackBerry device is sort of status symbol. Another thing that attract users is the facility to exchange free messages on the BBM.

In India and Indonesia, equation is slightly different for BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB). In both the regions, low-cost touch screen model BlackBerry Z3 is doing well. However, in Indonesia, the market share of Blackberry have declined from 43% to just 3%, but in India, the Canadian firm outsells the iPhone owing to its popularity among the young and the white-collar professionals.