BlackBerry offered in 35 African countries

Research In Motion (RIM)’s smartphone, BlackBerry is accessible in over 35 African countries.

BlackBerry device is available in over 35 African countries (image source: file photo)

Speaking to ITNewsAfrica today Craige Fleischer, RIM Regional Director for Southern Africa, says his company is very optimistic about the growth of smartphones in Africa.

“Market researchers predict a boom in Africa’s data market over the next five years as the mobile broadband market ignites,” says Fleischer.

“Information Telecoms and Media project that there will be 265 million mobile broadband subscriptions in Africa by 2015, a huge increase from the current figure of about 12 million.

That means nearly a third of the more than 800 million expected mobile subscribers in Africa will be using mobile technologies to access the Internet,” says Fleischer.

BlackBerry Torch 9800

The 2011 GFK Retail and Technology research voted BlackBerry as the top-selling smartphone brand in South Africa.

Fleischer says the launch of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphone in South Africa in October 2010 saw BlackBerry smartphones enjoy massive interest from consumers across the country.

Fleischer says the fact that the BlackBerry Torch 9800 was the first BlackBerry smartphone to combine a touch screen with an easy-to-use QWERTY keypad makes it very attractive to users who wanted the best of both worlds.

“Africa is a strategic priority for RIM and we have been moving aggressively into the African market to make the BlackBerry solution (smartphones, tablets and services such as the BlackBerry Internet Service) available to African businesses and consumers,” says Fleischer.

Fleischer says BlackBerry devices are available in over 35 African countries in partnership with over 80 mobile operators.

The BlackBerry PlayBook, a professional grade tablet and is yet to be launched in South Africa.

Savious Kwinika