Saturday, 17 November 2012


From the look of things, Nigeria and Africa seem to be the last hope for RIM (Research in motion) owners of Blackberry Phones. It’s no longer news that citizens of many industrialized nations of the west have turned their backs on the Blackberry as the phone brand now enjoys less than 5% of the global smart phone market; a sharp drop from a high of over 20% market share a few years ago.

RIM’s competitors are already aware of Blackberry’s push to consolidate its hold on the Nigerian and African market. As such, a subtle campaign of calumny against Blackberry that includes ‘internet bashings’ against Blackberry Phones has since commenced. Just last month, a New York Times publication (most likely sponsored) declared that owning a Blackberry has now become an embarrassment. The first paragraph from the New York Times article reads;

The reign of the BlackBerry has come to an end. A report done by the New York Times chronicles the fall of the BlackBerry, which— ever since the popularity of iPhone and Android phones —is now being spoken about like an   ‘embarrassing relative’.”

Is it possible for Nigeria to capitalize on this and make RIM an offer that it can’t afford to refuse?

What’s on offer? Presently, Nigeria has over 2 million Blackberry users, chances are that these numbers will increase sharply especially if there’s a reduction in the price of BlackBerry phones. The Nigerian government or indigenous private sector investors could partner with RIM and explore the option of building a Blackberry production plant in Nigeria. This plant will serve Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the developing world where Blackberry is still relevant.

RIM, which is primarily a Canadian firm, should consider the possibility of relocating the bulk of its production base to Nigeria; that way Nigerians get more jobs, our government rakes in revenue from taxes and RIM secures a firmer grip on its Nigerian and Africa market. This should be Nigeria’s offer to help save Blackberry’s dwindling fortune and the people at RIM had better consider this option fast.

No one should give me the usual crappy story about Nigeria not being 'investor friendly' or having the ‘infrastructures’ to host such an investment; it’s a lie.  Electricity; it makes more sense for large production plants to provide their own electricity using cheaper bio fuels or renewable energy. Even if PHCN provided steady power to such plants, the prepaid or crazy bills will still knock that production plant out of business. Water; Borehole no dey hard nah! Security; locate the plant anywhere in the South. Manpower; we have more than enough-thousands for that matter.

So, as you can see, a Blackberry production plant in Nigeria is very practicable.

The BlackBerry bashings emanating from RIM’s competitors in the west will continue and it’s only a matter of time before Nigerians and Africans begin to digest these bashings and turn their backs on our precious BB. But, if RIM moves fast and establishes a production plant and a permanent presence in Africa/Nigeria then our people will most likely hold on strongly to their Blackberry phones. Everyone wins!

PS: I still don’t own a Blackberry phone.

1 comment:

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