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Blackberry Sees Z3 As Perfect Model To Capture Nigeria's $1.5bn Smartphone Market

July 21, 2014 (Ventures Africa)

VENTURES AFRICA – Blackberry is going for a kill in Nigeria in order to bounce back to profitability by 2016. The Nigerian smartphone market is estimated to be worth $1.5 billion (N245 billion), since over 10 million smart devices worth $1 billion (N167 billion) were sold in the country in 2013.

Global research market, TNS, posited in 2013 that 25 percent of about 116 million mobile subscribers then used smartphones.

Blackberry’s principal strategy to capture the market is the introduction of its latest smartphone: the Blackberry Z3 which embodies a quality product with a competitive price; the new trend engulfing smartphone market. Charles Asinugo, the Blackberry Territory Director for East, West, Central & Southern Africa, revealed this during the launch of the Z3.

“We’re putting lots of strategies in place to bounce back to growth and profitability by 2016. For now, we are focusing more on Nigeria because the market is critical to our rebound. We are also focusing on our core competence of security and enterprise solutions and applications.”

“The Nigerian market is one of the strategic markets for Blackberry and hopefully, we look onto Nigeria to contribute to returning us to profitability and we also have greater potential for app development on our BB in Nigeria.”

The smartphone market, particularly in Nigeria, has seen a surge in competition for market share in recent times, owing largely to the influx of producers like Techno, Huawei and Infinix. These mobile makers have one thing in common; they are targeting lower end consumers with competitively priced products.

To ensure this strategy works, Blackberry has decided to target the lower segment of the market with the Z3, while phasing out the Z10 – one of its weakest models in terms of sales volumes.

“Z10 is at the end of its life. In the next few months, you may not actually get to see Z10 in the market again because it is reaching its end of life. We thought that by introducing Z3, it will create potential danger to the Z10 market and that is why we decided that Z3 which offers almost the same experience with Z10 be introduced to replace Z10 in the market. It is also part of our strategy to focus more on the lower segment of the market in terms of pricing.”

The Z3 will run on the new generation Blackberry 10 platform and is expected to retail through authorized partners at the recommended price point of N39,000 ($234), a fairly cheaper model compared to similar BB10 powered devices. The Z3 has a stylish design with a 5? touch display, exceptional battery life, great messaging and typing experience and comes with the Blackberry 10 OS version 10.2.1 with support for Android apps.

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Source: Ventures Africa

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