September 28th, 2012
04:09 PM GMT
Share this on:

These are troubled times for Research in Motion (RIM), the makers of the BlackBerry handheld device.

Back in 2008 RIM was an $84 billion company, the darling of executives everywhere, students had BlackBerrys, and even President Obama admitted to being addicted to his BlackBerry, what some people were calling ‘crackberry’.

That was BA – before Apple, and the juggernaut that was the iPhone which launched in 2007. Now fast forward to 2012 and the stock price has been hammered to a 52 week low of $6.22, it’s a $3.25 billion company and some people are saying there may even be layoff in BlackBerry’s future.

There is a bright spot, however – and that bright spot is Africa, specifically Nigeria.

Waldi Wepener, RIM's regional director for Africa, told CNN’s Vladimir Duthiers Nigeria is a key market for the company.

“I think Nigerians are kind of entrepreneurial and social in spirit, which plays quite well to the always on, always connected services you get with RIM in terms of the push email, push services on facebook, twitter and particularly BlackBerry messenger as well,” he said.

According to Wepener, the luxury associated with the BlackBerry brand in Nigeria is also helping to drive sales.

“I think what else has been important for us is the kind of aspirational value of our brand in Nigeria.

"We work very closely with our carrier partners to produce tiered services to make data and the BlackBerry service more accessible to more Nigerians in the market.”

RIM’s focus on the Nigerian market is paying off, said Wepener – and is helping Nigerians stay connected at home and with family in other countries around the world.

“We’ve done exceedingly well in Nigeria – some stats to quote are that they believe there are 4 million smartphones connected in Nigeria of which 2 million are actually Blackberries. When you have a BlackBerry in Nigeria it shows you have arrived.

“We think its fantastic both that 56 million people globally are actually using BlackBerry messenger services but that we are also connecting millions of Nigerians both here and friends and families abroad.”

Filed under: BusinessGlobal Exchange

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Tim Ukuta

    With this success in the Nigerian market, why not consolidate by building a factory in Nigeria.
    Among other benefits it will increase sales because Nigerians will appreciate this gesture and reciprocate in kind.
    I am a Nigerian I know.

    September 28, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  2. Megida

    @ Ukata, what factory and to manufacture.......?

    September 29, 2012 at 2:12 am |
  3. Olaseni Odebiyi

    A wonderful article that supports my believe that BlackBerry will rise and take over the scene soon with the coming of the BB10. Aside from all these BlackBerry is still the safest device in the world as it is very difficult to hack it in terms of developing mobile wallets and other features(proof me wrong on this,if you can).
    Lastly, dear author it is spelt "BlackBerry" and not Blackberry...


    September 29, 2012 at 7:11 am |
  4. Yomi Adeyemi

    I don't have a BB yet but have saved about 50 per cent of my monthly salary to get one by Monday. I am always able to resist peer pressure and do things that I really want to do – but this BB-bug. I'm one of two person who does not own one in my office and others see me as not trendy.

    I share the same view with Tim, but fear it won't be done.

    September 30, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  5. Property in Lucknow

    hi...This is very nice blog...
    Property in Lucknow

    October 4, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  6. Emmanuel Okafor

    Nigerians have always been very responsive to developments with regards to communication (IT). I urge Blackberry to take this avenue to invest in Nigeria to expand more their services in that Nation and west Africa. This will improve governmental support and enhance the ties, as well as create more Jobs for people of Nigeria. Nigeria has crawled, walked but its is time to leap, Long live Nigeria, Long live Africa.

    October 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  7. tokunbofash

    I just hope our informations and communications stay safe. There have being instances where RIM went against laws of specific host country. I just hope NCC or whoever is incharge is going to keep an eye on RIM. As we all know some countries (e.g America) would do anything to harness intels.

    October 7, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  8. Nura

    The only reason why Nigerians stick to BB is because it's a cheap way to stay connected....a'woof

    October 9, 2012 at 6:01 am |
  9. Lisa

    That's the American Way. Ruin it. Add code to an OEM's app to cripple it and thteer it to a FEE. Shameless, usurous, predatory unreguatd American Capitalism at it's finest. Totally wrecked the embedded 3G market before it hardly got off the ground, thteering fees out the whazoo, stingy caps, high rates now this PlayBook thteering crap from AT&T.When I read about how different carrier tarriffs are in Assia and Europe it just sickens me how putridly predatory the American wireless industry is in comparison. Americans need to become aware of just how different and consumer fiendly things are elsewhere so they can open their eyes and stop being innocent naieve fodder for American corporate avarice and greed.

    November 3, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  10. Samim

    Black Berry Can Bring Innovation in their Products to Sustain in the Market for the Long time. Thanks

    November 10, 2012 at 5:42 am |
  11. Joginderabc

    Buy/Sell with ABC Buildcon Pvt. Ltd.-9716030121,9716040121. Mapsko Mount Ville offers 3/4BHK luxury appartments in sector-79 near NH8, Gurgaon.

    September 30, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  12. Joginderabc

    Buy/Sell with ABC Buildcon Pvt. Ltd.-9716030121,9716040121. Mapsko Royale Ville offers 3/4BHK luxury appartments in sector-82 near NH8 and Dwarka Expressway, Gurgaon.

    September 30, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  13. Joginderabc

    Mapsko Paradise ,New Gurgaon Projects,Paradise Mapsko , Mapsko Gurgaon , Real Estate Gurgaon , Mapsko Projects , Gurgaon Projects , Gurgaon New Launch Projects

    Buy/Sell with ABC Buildcon Pvt. Ltd.-9716030121,9716040121. Mapsko Paradise offers 2/3BHK luxury appartments in sector-83 near NH8, Gurgaon.

    September 30, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  14. gurudev

    Buy/Sell with ABC Buildcon Pvt. Ltd.-9716030121,9716040121. Unitech The One offers 4BHK luxury apartments in sector -70, Gurgaon.

    October 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
  15. Yomi Adeyemi

    Blackberry is a perfect fit for the needs of consumers in developing countries. Its architecture was originally developed to make efficient use of data networks and provide robust messaging services, and these are still its major selling points. I hope RIM (now Blackberry) will get through its current financial difficulties, because its technology is quite sound. I'm a Nigerian-American living in the States, but I love my crackberry!

    October 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
  16. NYC fitness events

    In 2008 RIM was an $84 billion company, What a fall! Talk about no vision, How do you drop the ball like this?

    February 20, 2014 at 2:03 am |

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About Global Exchange

Global Exchange explores how emerging markets are impacting and influencing the global financial community, at a time when business is a vital driver of the international news agenda.

Global Exchange is presented live from Abu Dhabi by emerging markets editor, John Defterios, who will be joined by CNN correspondents from around the world.

Global Exchange also includes the “GX20,” a global hotlist of some of the world’s biggest economic thinkers. The GX20 will be drawn from the key emerging markets, from across China, Russia, India and South Africa, contributing to the show and this blog.

Watch on CNN International Sunday to Thursday:

1100 ET
1600 GMT
1700 CET

Follow the show on Twitter @CNNGlobalEx and use the #CNNGlobalEx hashtag to join the conversation.

Powered by VIP