Research In Motion (RIM) the maker of BlackBerry smartphones today expanded its presence in Nigeria, and announced the first official BlackBerry-branded retail store in Lagos. The move marks the expansion of RIM’s footprint in Africa from its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, and underlines the company’s commitment to its partners and customers in one of the world’s fastest growing mobile markets.
Robert Bose, Regional Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa said, “As the leading smartphone 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 across Nigeria.”
RIM, in association with mobile phone distributor Slot Nigeria, officially opened the BlackBerry by SLOT store in Nigeria at Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos yesterday, designed especially to provide Nigerian customers with a first-class, authentic BlackBerry purchasing experience, including free software upgrades from the facility in the Computer Village store. BlackBerry smartphones that can be upgraded to OS 7.1 include the BlackBerry Bold 9900, BlackBerry Torch 9810, BlackBerry Torch 9860, BlackBerry Curve 9360 and the BlackBerry Curve 9380.
In the BlackBerry by SLOT store, customers can find:
· A full-range of live BlackBerry smartphones to try
· Free device set-up and free software upgrade facilities
· Fully-trained staff who provide expert advice 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 BlackBerry smartphones purchased at the BlackBerry by Slot Nigeria store will be set-up for free and consumers will be provided with quick and easy steps to ensure that their handset is authentic, such as the start-up splash screen logo and an authentic seal on the BlackBerry smartphone’s box.
As part of its expanded retail footprint and ongoing commitment to enhanced customer service RIM will provide software upgrade stations in 60 more retail stores nationwide., RIM also plans 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 smartphone. in addition to providing software upgrades, the drop-in centres will provide the full end-to-end service in a thriving retail environment, including parts, repairs, and replacements.
Commenting on the store opening Robert Bose added, “Today, BlackBerry is sold in about 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 smartphone market today. BlackBerry products are now available in 40 countries across Africa from 90 carrier partners. According to market research from Canalys (Q2 2012), RIM is the overall number one smartphone vendor in Africa.