RIM, makers of Blackberry smartphones, in a press conference in Lagos today, announced plans to increase its local presence, retail expansion, enhancement of repair services and strengthen its ongoing commitment to Blackberry customers in Nigeria, including partnering with the Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos.
Speaking at the conference, RIM’s Regional Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa, said, “We have achieved quite some success here in Nigeria, we’re the number one smartphone across all of Africa and according to GFK data we’re number one here in Nigeria.”
“Across Nigeria we’ve been very successful across a whole broad range of our portfolio. So we’ve been able to serve a number of different customer segments; we’re very proud of that,” he said.
In a bid to increase its local presence and retail footprint, RIM, in association with Nigerian mobile phone distributor, Slot Nigeria, have officially opened the Blackberry by Slot store at Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos. According to RIM, this is to especially provide Nigerian customers with a first-class, authentic Blackberry purchasing experience, including free software upgrades from the facility in the store in Computer Village.
Robert Bose affirms that for RIM to really expand across Nigeria, its success depends on its partnerships and relationships with carrier partners, retail partners and local development partners. He says mobile access to the internet is opening up here in Nigeria and that mobile technology is opening up opportunities in healthcare, education, e-government, e-commerce and much more.
RIM is also looking at working closely with the Nigerian government.
According to Bose: “We also want to help maximise skills that bring technology into the government space, so we’ve been working very closely with government institutions including developer communities.”
To mark their commitment here in Nigeria, Mr Waldi Wepener, Regional Director for East, West and Central Africa, said, “Around the world we support University students across over 700 academic institutions in over 113 countries in the Blackberry Academic Program. Today we are pleased to announce that Yaba College of Technology has become the first university in Nigeria to join the Blackberry Academic Program.”
This will provide students and lecturers alike with material contents for the education on mobile application development.