Nokia and Blackberry Not Dead in South Africa

  • August 23, 2012
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Nokia and Blackberry Not Dead in South Africa

The rest of the world loves its Samsung and Apple mobile phones, but in South Africa, Nokia and BlackBerry remain kings. Despite a sharp drop in market share worldwide, both brands are thriving in the region. According to the 2012 Mobile Consumer in South Africa report, Nokia is the leading cellphone brand among urban South Africans aged 16 and over. The Finnish brand dominates 50 percent of the market and is expected to retain the top spot until the end of next year. BlackBerry trails behind Nokia with a market share equal to Samsung’s, at 18 percent. BlackBerry’s market share rose from 4 percent at the end of 2010, while Samsung’s market share dropped from its previous 28 percent. A sign of strong brand loyalty comes from 16 percent of mobile phone users saying they intend to buy a BlackBerry in the future. This prompted World Wide Worx Managing Director Arthur Goldstuck to say that the death of the BlackBerry “remains a myth” in South Africa, as is the case in other developing markets.

The Smartphone Race

The smartphone segment is still dominated by BlackBerry despite the top tier of the market switching to the iPhone or the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S3. Almost half of all the smartphones (4.8 million out of 10 million) sold in South Africa are BlackBerry devices, according to data compiled by World Wide Worx. Goldstuck said that the “cool factor” of BlackBerry models like the Curve is partly behind the brand’s continued popularity, especially among young people aged 16 to 25. Nokia takes second place with about 4 million smartphones sold, mostly containing the Symbian operating system. Android smartphones sold around 800,000 units, while the iPhone sold less than 400,000 units.

The iPhone remained a gadget for the elite and maintained one percent market share, although respondents in the Mobility 2012 project reported purchase intentions that indicated a boost in market share to six percent in the next 18 months. Goldstuck said that this was twice the brand momentum expected for Apple at the end of 2010, but sales that could have captured 3 percent market share were nonexistent. Goldstuck added that the iPhone continues to be out of reach for many South Africans, while the BlackBerry is a “reachable aspiration.”

Other Brands

Other mobile phone brands also experienced significant changes in terms of market share. LG maintained its 5 percent market share but slipped from rank 3 to rank 4. Motorola’s ranking dropped from 5 to 2 as its market share plummeted from 11 percent to 2 percent in 18 months. China-based ZTE has its feature-packed budget devices to thank for claiming a surprise 2 percent market share, the same as Motorola. Sony-Ericsson dropped to 1 percent from 2 percent market share, while HTC was pegged at 1 percent. Goldstuck said that HTC’s market share is expected to double in the following year, but Motorola, LG and Sony face grim prospects. All three are expected to skim bottom with less than one percent market share, “unless something drastic happens to revitalise the brands,” said Goldstuck.

Data for the Mobility SA 2012 project came from face-to-face interviews with adult South African cellphone users living in towns and cities. The study was conducted in June 2012 using a sample that represents the national population. The study has two parts: the Mobile Consumer in SA 2012 that investigated mobile phone usage and banking trends, and the Mobile Internet in SA 2012 that investigated trends in internet and data usage.

Worldwide Trends

Connecticut-based analyst Gartner reported that there were 419 million mobile phones sold worldwide in the second quarter of 2012, down 2.3 percent from the previous year. Smartphone sales compose 36.7 percent of all devices sold (154 million units), a growth of 42.7 percent. Not surprisingly, the dominant brands were Apple and Samsung, accounting for 83 percent of overall smartphone sales. Samsung leads the smartphone segment with 99 million units sold. In comparison, Apple sold almost 29 million units of its iOS-based iPhone devices. Android devices claimed 64 percent of the smartphone market, while iOS iPhone devices claimed 18.8 percent.

BlackBerry PlayBook Is Here – Review of the BlackBerry PlayBook

  • April 27, 2011
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BlackBerry PlayBook Is Here – Review of the BlackBerry PlayBook

It seems like forever, but the Blackberry PlayBook is finally here and luckily it doesn’t disappoint. To some people, it seem like an unusual selection for RIM’s recent attempt at providing a tablet with the words play and book together, because at its core this runs perhaps the most hardcore and user friendly operating systems. Of course, the operating system is QNX and the BlackBerry PlayBook is the hardware. This is a business friendly offering which is out to take over the consumer tablet scene, looking to follow the path of BlackBerry handsets which have lined the pockets of executives in the corporate world and BBM fans worldwide.  Here is my brief review of the Blackberry PlayBook.

This is a serious tablet in comparison to the competing software from Google and Apple. Although it has games, the biggest strengths of the device are somewhat boring i.e. more business oriented. For instance, it can do an excellent job when it comes to showing PowerPoint presentations, plus it offers the security chops needed to keep the dismal sale figures in the last quarter from slipping into the wrong hands. Even though this is not really exciting stuff, there are certainly useful features. Regardless if you find those boring or intriguing, this is still RIM’s 7 inch Flash; 3G lacking tablet in an unassuming yet very stylish exterior. You are more likely to be disappointed with whatever is running at the rear of the glass. This PlayBook with angular corners and dark design seems extremely nondescript, which is more prone to open a wormhole on another planet than to leap into consumers hands at store. The framework is cool metal, very slightly rubberized with squared off edges and there is hardly any give or flex anywhere. The device feels completely solid and will not give in to any contortions, even though it is only 0.4 inches thick. At just 0.9 pounds, this is significantly lighter in weight, but somewhat heavier than Galaxy .83 pound Tablet. There is an ongoing debate about the ideal size for a tablet, but it’s safe to say that the smaller factors give a device which is comfortable to travel with. This light weight definitely makes it much simpler for reading and the hand-friendly size will make it more convenient to carry. The size and the dark color help to make this slate a little less obvious when compared to the competition and this could be regarded as a part of its subtle charm. Blackberry PlayBook has four buttons on the top with physical controls for volume up/down, small power button and play/pause. The power is extremely hard to find if you are feeling for it and once it’s located it will be difficult to switch on. You cannot actually hit it without having to use your fingernail and you are required to use a lot pressure even then.

Even though the Blackberry PlayBook has a few drawbacks it’s a solid performer that competes very well with the Apple iPad.

I Need the New BlackBerry Bold, RIM BlackBerry 9000

  • May 12, 2008
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The BlackBerry Bold is not only a gorgeous phone it’s also functional. More functional than the iPhone I would suggest, especially for business use. The BlackBerry bold is designed to take away market share from Apple’s iPhone. “The BlackBerry held a 41% market share for smartphones in the US last year, but iPhone went from zero to hold 28% (” So lets see the features:

Screen Resolution

The BlackBerry has Half-VGA (480×320 pixel resolution) and a 65,000-color display. One word, amazing! Some are saying they have never seen such a sharp display on a smart phone.


The BlackBerry Bold measures 4.5 inches tall by 2.6 inches wide by half an inch deep, and it weighs 4.7 ounces.

Wireless Options

“Quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) BlackBerry Bold, but the most appetizing and notable item is the HSDPA/UMTS (850/1900/2100) support. You also get integrated Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g), Bluetooth 2.0 with full A2DP support, and built-in GPS (enhanced and assisted) (”


The BlackBerry contains a 624MHz Intel PXA270 processor.

Cool Features

Phone has a built in 2.0 megapixel camera with video-recording capabilities and up to 5x zoom.


Carrier will be AT&T. “The BlackBerry Bold 9000, due exclusively in the United States through AT&T, will be the first BlackBerry sold by a U.S. carrier to operate globally in 3G (third-generation) wireless networks (”


Estimated price is $300-$400


Summer 2008






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