BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Biggest Opportunity Lies In Africa

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BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is planning to launch its recently unveiled low-cost smartphone, the Z3, in Indonesia first, which is definitely a promising market. But the Canadian company can find its greatest opportunity in Africa, which has a growing middle class and a booming population. People in South Africa and Nigeria crave a BlackBerry just like U.S. kids want an iPhone. According to a study conducted by World Wide Worx, 57% of South African college students own a BlackBerry device, reports CNBC.

BlackBerry a status symbol in Africa

According to research firm World Wide Worx, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has increased its market share in South Africa from 18% last year to 23% today. The John Chen-led company has 40% smartphone market share in Nigeria. BlackBerry recently launched its first “official” store on the African continent in Nigeria. More than 29% of survey participants said that they plan to buy a BlackBerry smartphone next year. People, especially college students, prefer BlackBerry because of its free messaging service and low-cost data plans.

In fact, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is a status symbol for youngsters in Africa. The company can find its big growth opportunity in the continent as spending power of African consumers grows. More than 50% of Africans are less than 19 years old, and the continent’s middle class is flourishing. So, it makes complete sense for BlackBerry to position itself there.

Chinese vendors a threat to BlackBerry

According to Praekelt Foundation, more than 50% of African Internet connections are on mobile. BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s managing director for Africa, Yudi Moodley, said that it represents a sizable opportunity for the company. He said BlackBerry will continue to meet the demand of this rapidly growing market. African continent’s mobile market is estimated to touch 1 billion users by the end of 2015.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) doesn’t break down its Africa revenue. But the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) accounted for 40.7% or $4.5 billion of its total revenue in 2013. The company has noted that South Africa is one of the largest markets in the EMEA region. Improving international connectivity, falling smartphone prices and rollout of mobile broadband networks are likely to boost the smartphone sales. But a big threat to BlackBerry in Africa is Chinese vendors that sell Android devices at ultra low prices.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) share jumped 1.55% on Thursday to close at $10.49.

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About the Author

Vikas Shukla
Vikas Shukla has a strong interest in business, finance, and technology. He writes regularly on these topics. - He can be contacted by email at vshukla@valuewalk.com or on Twitter @VikShukla10

11 Comments on "BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Biggest Opportunity Lies In Africa"

  1. Lol – dam your amusing!

  2. Been there. Done that. Long NOK. All the best for BBRY.

  3. wow you guys are unbelievable, if you really want Blackberry saved and make good on your investments, you should support me in my quest. Three months is all I need with Blackberry and all would be well.

  4. ty, if I was not correct in this matter Blackberry would not be in trouble. I sent Blackberry a formula (code) that if they would have took a little time and realised what I sent them, we would not be worrying about Blackberry right now. Someone in the mail room discarded important information unwittingly. Blackberry became famous because of introducing and starting a new industry. They need something completely brand new to do it again. Sorry to say what they are doing at the moment is wrong, this is why this is happening. I am saying this so hopefully Blackberry will realise it before its too late. I don’t want to see a Canadian tech company die, I love Canada this is where I live. I would never claim Blackberry is making a mistake, unless I knew of a fix.

  5. Positive does not mean its true and negativity does not mean untrue. Chen said he is not getting into a watch type wearable, this is a wise choice seeing as the I-watch is not the best choice of a wearable by a long shot. I only agree with Chen if he is doing the right thing. if he is not I have to say so. I don’t hate anyone or anything, but im not prepared to going along with something that is wrong.

  6. Ah. Let me assure you DEVVVV is not alone with his thoughts and opinions. It is good that one says aloud what many are thinking.

  7. I suggest we ignore the ‘attention seeking’ trolls who add nothing but noise to the discussion. Only the ignorant would profess wisdom in matters they have no direct insight.

    I for one understand why a BlackBerry is considered a status symbol – because it reflects one’s status of NOT following the (media infected) herd!

    Bravo John Chen, and Bravo to the continent of Africa for owning their opinions!

  8. Devvvv is paid to troll every blackberry article and rubbish it

  9. Interesting? Where do you get your information??? I’m curious, why do you hate BlackBerry so much? You jump on every positive article about BlackBerry with usually lots of really bad or made-up information.

  10. I don’t know where your getting your information from but Android is spreading like wild fire in Africa. A Android device is way cheaper then BlackBerry and as for text messaging Facebook/ Whatsapps is pretty much considered free.

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