Not too long after the Ghanaian three-pronged release, we’ve got another BlackBerry launch at the other end of the continent, in Madagascar. With the help of Alcatel-Lucent, local provider Telma will be carrying the BlackBerry 8800. As a habit, I like to check out the Wikis for every country that announces a release, and it was an interesting surprise to find out that Madagascar is home to five per cent of all of the world’s species of plants and animals, with a fossil record showing the presence of gorilla-sized lemurs. Woah.
Tag: africaPage 3 of 4
RIM announced today the launch of their three flagship devices by MTN Ghana. When it comes to maiden national launches, it’s surprisingly rare to see all three (the BlackBerry 8800, 8100 and 8300) all brought together at once, which is too bad, since the three cover the whole range of customer demand really nicely. RIM realizes that Africa is a promising emerging market, and possibly second only to China. Considering the game in China is now entirely in the carrier’s hands and ostensibly slowing, it makes sense that BlackBerry starts setting its sights on the next new market by making aggressive releases like this one.
RIM announced yesterday that Celtel Uganda with the help of Emitac Mobile Solutions is now offering BlackBerry Enterprise Service and the BlackBerry 8800 to corporate customers. Celtel’s also supporting East Africa’s One network, so visitors from the neighbourhood can get their roaming groove on.
“We continue to extend the global availability of the BlackBerry solution and are pleased to be launching today in Uganda with Celtel and EMS. BlackBerry smartphones are a great choice for individuals that strive to be more productive, flexible and ultimately more successful in work and life,” said Charmaine Eggberry, Vice President and Managing Director of EMEA at Research In Motion.
Algerian carrier mobilis has recently announced their inaugural BlackBerry support, kicking things off with the BlackBerry 8100 and BlackBerry 8700. Alcatel-Lucent is lending a hand with the launch and support of the devices – if Alcatel’s work is anything like their network expansion in India, mobilis shouldn’t have too much to worry about. As for the Pearl and 8700, they’re solid choices for getting initial footholds in both consumer and enterprise markets.
It’s possible that Apple might match India’s sale of a million phones in a week, but something tells me they won’t be able to pull off 6 million each month for the next little while. Call me crazy. By 3 years from now, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is hoping to nail the 500 million mark, after maintaining a steady 6 to 7 million subscriber growth while the country gets hooked up. For those of you not so hot with the math, that’s half of a billion, and about 45% market penetration. China‘s great for RIM, and there’s sure to be some opportunities in Africa, but it’s hard to ignore numbers like these. The BlackBerry 8300 is in India, which is a start, but they’re going to have to keep pumping the newer lines out there in order to really cash in on the explosion.
Following the earlier topic of Canadian data rates, Don Morisson continued talking with the Financial Post about the emerging market in Africa. (For anyone who hasn’t entered our weekly contest yet, this is a subtle hint.) While progress in China’s starting to ramp up, RIM is looking to start moving harder into Eastern Europe before significant headway is made in Africa. Despite the economic situation in Africa being vastly different from the usual industrialized markets that RIM usually guns for, Morisson says their enterprise-first approach is going to stick.
“Is there an attractive market that’s beyond the enterprise market? Absolutely.”