In advance of the release of BlackBerry 10, RIM has managed to increase the size of its subscriber base by attracting customers in some emerging markets. This is particularly true in Africa where RIM is (reportedly) the continent’s market leader in smartphones, including significant markets like Nigeria and South Africa. Nigeria in particular – as the second-fastest growing mobile market – is of great importance, and RIM has clearly decided to put great focus on Nigerian growth.
Showing its interest in growing its African stronghold, RIM is now opening a permanent entity in Nigeria. Additionally, Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous city, will soon be receiving its first BlackBerry retail store. These expansions, in addition to its recently-announced outreach to Nigerian educational institutions clearly indicate the importance of the African market to RIM.
Though we – or at least I – tend to think that the future of RIM hinges solely on the reception of BlackBerry 10 in the world’s largest markets, it’s irresponsible to overlook BlackBerry’s popularity in some locations worldwide. By reaching out to emerging markets, RIM puts itself in position to be embraced by multitudes of new smartphone users. And, despite the USA’s current opinion of BlackBerry products, that’s certainly a good thing.