At a well attended press conference in Lagos, Nigeria, Research In Motion, the maker of BlackBerry smart phones and the BlackBerry PlayBook made major announcements, One of such is of the opening of a permanent local entity and the first fully branded BlackBerry retail store in Lagos, Nigeria. The move, which marks the expansion of RIM’s footprint in Africa from its headquarters in Johannesburg, underlines the company’s commitment to its partners and customers in one of the world’s fastest growing mobile markets.
Robert Bose, Regional Manager Director for the Middle East and Africa said “As the leading smart phone provider in Nigeria and in Africa overall, our customers are our number one priority, so we are very pleased to cement our physical presence with local staff, establish a new legal entity and work with local business partners to expand our retail and customer care footprint across Nigeria.”
RIM, in association with mobile phone distributor Slot Nigeria, officially opened the BlackBerry store in Nigeria at Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos, designed especially to provide Nigerian customers with a first-class and authentic BlackBerry experience.
RIM will provide free software-upgrade facilities in the Computer Village store. BlackBerry smart phones that can be upgraded to OS 7.1* including the BlackBerry Bold 9900, BlackBerry Torch9810, BlackBerry Torch9860, BlackBerry Curve 9360 and the BlackBerry Curve9380
In the BlackBerry-branded Slot store, customers can find:
• A full-range of live BlackBerry products to try and test
• Free device set-up and free software upgrade facilities
• Fully-trained staff who provide expert advise and assistance
• A BlackBerry Expert Center that offers leading after-sales service (all products sold in the store come with a 12-month warranty)
All devices purchased at the BlackBerry Slot Nigeria store will be set-up for free and consumers will be provided with quick and easy steps to ensure that their device is authentic, such as the start-up splash screen logo and an authentic seal on all authentic BlackBerry smart phone boxes.
As part of its expanded retail footprint and ongoing commitment to enhanced consumer service RIM will provide software upgrade stations in 60 more retail stores nationwide, RIM is also soon to introduce in-warranty repair and after-sales support in retail stores located in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt to help customers get the most of their BlackBerry. As well as software upgrades, the drop-in centres will provide the full end-to-end service in a thriving retail environment, including parts repair and device replacements.
Commenting on the store opening Robert Bose added: “Today, BlackBerry is sold in around 300 retail stores nationwide. Our strategy is to continue working with local partners to help deliver a strong retail presence and after sales service that will provide our Nigerian customers with the optimal BlackBerry experience. With our new regional entity, we are looking forward to further cementing our relationship with the Nigerian market and working with our partners to support both our customer base and the transformation of the ICT industry in West Africa.”
The BlackBerry solution was first launched in Nigeria in 2006 with carrier partners and leads the Nigerian smart phone market today. BlackBerry is now available in 40 countries across Africa from 90 carrier partners and according to Canalys(Q2 2012), RIM is the number one smart phone vendor overall in Africa. Interesting Stats about BlackBerry in Nigeria
More Facts and Stats about Blackberry in Nigeria
•According to Informa Telecoms & Media, there were around 4 million connected smart phones in Nigeria mid-2012, nearly 2 million of which were BlackBerry devices
• BlackBerry has been a leading smart phone in Nigeria in July 2012 for over 9 months with the Blackberry Curve 8520, Bold 9900 and Curve 9360 leading smart phones (GFK July).
• BBM penetration in Nigeria is 95% of the Nigerian BlackBerry subscriber base, amongst the highest in the world.
• BlackBerry is the number 1 smart phone vendor overall in Africa (Canalys, Q2 2012).
• RIM is working with 118 universities, colleges and schools across Africa to provide material and content to teach and educate students on mobile application development. Yaba College of Technology has been signed on in Blackberry academic programme.
• Recently over 300 developers attended BlackBerry 10 Jam roadshow events in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya in July/August.
• On 25th September, 2012, RIM marked the opening if its Nigerian entity, expanding its presence in Africa and committing to an enhanced retail and service experience
• The company is present in nearly 300 branded stores in Nigeria and offering free software upgrade facilities in Computer Village and 60 locations nationwide. Soon to introduce in-warranty repair and after-sales support in stores located in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt.