Nicholas Jotischky, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media has made the announcement that RIM will expand its presence in Nigeria by opening up a BlackBerry-branded store in Lagos.
Jotischky comments on the expansion, "Nigeria is a priority market for RIM. The opening of the first Blackberry-branded retail store is a logical step for the country's no. 1 smartphone vendor.
"At a time when Nokia is strengthening its distribution arm in Nigeria and Apple has recently appointed its first official distributor and opened its first store in Lagos, it makes sense for RIM to cement its physical presence with local staff and business partners, such as local distributor Slot Nigeria.
The youth and SME markets are key to RIM'S success in Nigeria. Characteristic of this is Blackberry's launch of a fashion app to coincide with Lagos Fashion Week and the opening of an academic program in conjunction with the Yaba College of Technology. The support of mobile developers will help to energise the SME market, an important growth engine of the Nigerian economy".
BBM has also been critical to BlackBerry success in Nigeria. Robert Bose, regional MD for Africa, referred to the fact that as many people use BBM for keeping in touch with friends/family as use it in business context.
An an aspirational tool, the BlackBerry will continue to be targeted at these youth and SME markets in Nigeria. Initiatives aimed specifically at the ultra low-cost market, however, seem unlikely.
According to initial results of a survey from Informa Telecoms & Media, when asked what will be the biggest generator of new revenues in Africa in 2013, 36% of respondents answered the low-cost device market was a very big opportunity (second only to mobile broadband). But RIM will not be playing directly in the sub-USD50 market.