SA big driver of BlackBerry sales

2012-09-28 16:37

Cape Town - South Africa is currently one of the main countries driving BlackBerry maker RIM's global sales, said Simon Leps, CEO of Fontera Digital Works.

He was reacting to Research in Motion's announcement on Thursday that it lost $235m in the past quarter. The better-than-expected results led to a surge in its stock price. 

Recently CEO Thorsten Heins acknowledged that SA is one of RIM's most loyal markets: "South Africa is a priority one market for us, and we will acknowledge that with the launch of BlackBerry 10.

"There will be three waves in taking it to global markets, and South Africa and Nigeria are in the top range of Wave 1 launches."

Leps said BlackBerry competition in other markets bodes well for South African consumers. This is because as it loses sales and shelf space to iOS, Android and soon Nokia in the US and Europe, RIM will increasingly begin driving sales in countries like South Africa.

"This may result in better pricing, services and product offerings for consumers locally, as they aim to safeguard their strong market presence."

On BlackBerry's future outlook, Leps said everything still hinges on the BlackBerry 10 (scheduled for launch in the first quarter of 2013).

"If they manage to pull a huge rabbit out of the hat early next year, then they may see  positive signs of a recovery.

"However if BlackBerry 10 is a failure, RIM will be finished as a standalone handset manufacturer."

Leps is optimistic about BlackBerry 10, saying the sneak peek RIM afforded the press this week revealed interesting functionality, some of which is unique to BlackBerry and not yet available on other platforms.

"However, these new features may fail to drive the necessary sales and are not as innovative and exciting as the features offered by Samsung, Apple and even Nokia."

Leps said it has become apparent that RIM is starting to lag its competitors.

"Even the mid-level phones from BlackBerry, such as the Curve, are being outclassed by new devices from Nokia and Samsung that are far more advanced and significantly cheaper.

"This all goes back to innovation - RIM used to have the top developers and product people working for them; those people are now working for other companies."

He warned that should RIM continue its poor performance in the long term, it is going to be much harder for the embattled company to attract and retain the best developers and other staff. It will also be more expensive to borrow money, which could impact long-term innovation.

'If they don't have the access to affordable debt financing and are not able to offer share options to recruit new and retain current staff, then they are going to continue down the spiral that they're currently in."


  • shayne.r.barker - 2012-09-28 17:02

    Well ill be damned.. My blackberry contract expires in a few months and I WILL NOT be getting another one. Blackberry's are really starting to fall behind. Combine that with the crap throttling the networks are putting on BB users and its no wonder that the future is looking bleak. Why did it take you so long to wake up? You been riding on the Brand believing that it will jsut continue to sell itself. Unless something really special comes from blackberry, and you are in fact able to pull a Rabbit, my next phone will not be a Blackberry. Right now iphone or Galaxy the way I am going.

      dericslab - 2012-09-28 17:26

      Don't waste your money on Crapple. SIII is much better, or wait a bit for the Nokia 920.

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-09-28 18:01

      iPhone rules - ask the 5 Mil people who ordered in three days!

      jeff.swart.96 - 2012-09-29 04:43

      You referring to the iPhone 4S+ ?

      Megala - 2012-09-29 05:00

      The only reason Blackberry is big in SA is because of the ridiculous high costs of data in this country. In more advanced and first world countries,where there is real competition among cell companies, Blackberry doesnt feature at all and is on the decline. People in SA love their outdated and problem filled Blackberry's because they pay R60 and get the free limited internet service on that BIS service . If and when SA service providers finally stop milking consumers and start charging what everyone is internationally, then date prices will come down to first world levels and thats tickets for Blcckberry and their cr@p phones. I have a Blackberry and I hate it with a passion but there is no way that I am going to pay another R300-500 per month for a data package over and above my cellphone calls package and thats for ameasly 2 gig of data.

      rlong1952 - 2012-09-29 12:09

      dericslab.... ha ha, imagine turning an anti-blackberry comment into an anti iPhone comment, I would say that is pure jealousy, you don't have one and therefore you are all sarky. Get one first and then come back and comment.

  • nthete.moalosi - 2012-09-28 17:14

    They must just merger with another company,and get new innovation into their devices,this company will collapse.

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-09-28 17:16

    You and a million others. All my friends who had Blackberry phones have long moved on. Great pity that like Nokia, they just took it for granted.......and then came Samsung and Apple. Great products.

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-09-28 17:29

    Sad when South Africa is your biggest customer in the world.

  • nosiphom.mazibuko - 2012-09-28 17:47

    Relying on BBM to keep them alive becuse of high data costs in SA. With cheaper data, BB is gone!

  • makarapakaplan - 2012-09-28 17:55

    Another company heading the same way Nokia did!

  • dtsele - 2012-09-28 17:58

    Uh for an ordinary Joe on the SA street its hard to comprehend these numbers. I mean I have two BB @ my disposal. Perhaps I'm oblivious to other better options the market has to offer...

  • hendrikvs - 2012-09-28 18:06

    Anybody still buys blackberries????? iPhone rocks!

  • adivhaho.magoma - 2012-09-28 20:51

    There are far too many black berries

  • adivhaho.magoma - 2012-09-28 20:51

    There are far too many black berries

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