RIM is having some serious market turbulence in North America but they are currently holding strong to emerging markets. One of their key markets is South Africa where they currently have 18% of the whole cell phone market. That puts them in second place after Nokia which has 50% though the iPhone has 1% and Android has about 2%. That account to 4.8 million BlackBerry users out of RIMs current 78 million.
Right now RIM is going strong mainly because they are hitting the low cost market with some enticing offers while iPhones are priced in the stratosphere. The Curve is the most popular smartphone in South Africa and has very low cost unlimited internet access. BlackBerrys also account for 7 of the top 10 selling phones in the country. Dave pointed out to me (via N4BB) that RIM is also setting up “BlackBerry Buddy” kiosks around South Africa for support, advice, and software updates at:
- Sandton City – Johannesburg
- Menlyn Park – Pretoria
- Mimosa Mall – Bloemfontein
- Canal Walk – Cape Town
- Gateway Shopping Centre – Durban