BlackBerry Phones Continue to Dominate in South Africa
BlackBerry users are expanding in South Africa, reversing an international trend, according to statistics released on Friday.
According to research from independent ad network InMobi, devices made by RIM dominate the South African cellphone landscape and the BlackBerry Curve 8520 commands 41.3% of the market.
It eclipses second-place Samsung SGH E250i (4.5%) and the Nokia X2-01 (3.3%) in terms of share of handsets in the April to June 2012 period.
RIM devices dominate the market with a 50% share, an increase of 5.6% and the results show Nokia declining by 3.7% to 25% and global leading manufacturer Samsung also down 1.4% to 17%.
In terms of operating systems, the numbers reflect similar patterns with RIM at 50%, followed by Nokia OS at 15.4% and Symbian at 9.8%.
According to the statistics, Android is too small in SA to register.
Smartphones are heading toward market dominance at 63% versus feature phones at 35%. Tablets and connected devices make up the difference, according to InMobi.
Part of the reason for BlackBerry dominance may lie in the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) offering with the devices and several commentators have warned that the South African market is cost sensitive.
Globally, Android-backed smartphones make up over 50% of the market and Samsung has emerged as the leading manufacturer with a global market share of 24.1% according to an IDC report.
A Google-backed survey on the state of the mobile web found that 21% of users in Sub-Saharan Africa felt that cost was a bigger barrier to entry than speed (11%) or even reliability (7%).
RIM will be hosting a BlackBerry 10 Jam in Cape Town on Tuesday as the company moves to consolidate developers prior to the launch of its anticipated next generation device in 2013.
Companies have been rushing to release Android and iPhone apps for services in SA, but an industry player warned that they should focus on what was current in the country.
“We’re not saying you shouldn’t do iPhone and Android apps – fantastic – but understand that BlackBerry is more important; Nokia is the next important, and then, by all means do an iPhone and Android app,” Tim Bishop, chief technical officer at Prezence Digital said.