Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blackberrry usage in US plummet as it leads in Africa

Blackberry sales in the United States continues to plummet even as its makers, Research in Motion (RIM) explore new markets and expand reach in countries like Nigeria.  Nigeria
"Research In Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry smartphones are still used by millions of people in the United States, but the smartphone market grew so quickly over the past year that RIM’s usage share has dwindled to almost nothing," writes Zach Epstein, an industry analyst.
An Ad firm, Chitika, recently conducted an 11-month study of RIM’s usage in the US.  Its findings suggest that mobile traffic from BlackBerry devices across its network plummeted 25% between September 2011 and July 2012. RIM’s smartphones and PlayBook tablet combined to account for as much as 5% of all mobile usage in the U.S. late last year but as of last month, that figure sank to just over 1%.
Writes Adams Thierer, a Forbes magazine contributor, in an article (Bye bye BlackBerry) on the dwindling fortunes of Blackberry in the US:
Just five years ago, “BlackBerry” was virtually synonymous with “smartphones.” It was well on its way to becoming a generic trademark, like Kleenex or Band-Aid, that would seemingly forever be associated with its entire sector. “For many, the Blackberry is a must-have gadget, a wireless hand-held computer that can send e-mail and make phone calls,” noted a 2005 NPR story on the “CrackBerry,” as some BlackBerry addicts referred to the device.
Today, however, Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry smartphones, is a financial basket case that has come to symbolize just how turbulent life in the modern digital economy can be. 
Many Nigerians today like the blackberry because of such apps as the BB chat through which you can chat once have shared pin with the other person.  This enhances their capacity to communicate without necessarily being on the internet.
BB remains the choice phone for most young and middle class Africans. "Give me your BB pin" is often the first request after a new friendship has been struck in cities like Lagos, Abuja or Accra.
But I believe the excitement of BB will be short-lived once the android system gains ground in Nigeria.
One of the biggest undoing to BB in the US, is Google's android system. Android phones easily outpaced the iPhone over the past quarter, according to the most recent sales figures. And the chances of the operating system dominating the mobile market within the next few years are greater than ever.
Google has long been the dominant leader in search, and with the Android operating system it's now attained a Windows-like market share in smartphones.
The advantages of the android system has made it the popular choice for many Americans.  One of the biggest advances for me is the joy of traveling to anywhere in the US without asking unnecessary questions.  The phones provides every answer you need about just about many things - restaurants in the area, the gas stations, the banks, and just any question of importance for a first time visitor or JJC and gives instant direction as well as providing other details. What about the GPS functions; simply amazing for navigating new terrains as a driver in a new environment.
Perhaps, RIM should consider having android in BBs.  Otherwise, its present hold on markets like Nigeria and Ghana, like the experience in the US may soon fade away.


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