• Wednesday, December 06, 2023
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‘Nigeria plays a critical role in BlackBerry strategy’


Nokia is gunning for your enterprise customers. I know you have a response. Can you share some of it with us?

We are in a very competitive market place. I think everybody understands that and it is one of the reasons why we are launching the blackBerry Z10 right now. We have a real opportunity to shape that market. We are the number one in enterprise. It is something we are very proud of and it is something we work very hard on. We will continue to work hard on it. We will continue to bring enhancements with the BlackBerry Balance.

The other phenomenon that we have is to bring your own device to work. We think this enterprise solution has the ability to solve that problem very effectively in terms of security. We will continue to keep focus on the security aspect of our solution.

How is your tablet market doing? Do you have any big project for Nigeria?

I think we have had some success in the tablet market. We think that the tablet is part of the mobile computing proposition. We see a day when people would have a BlackBerry Z10 which gives them all sort of capabilities and then perhaps they would have a tablet to give them a bigger screen display.

In terms of numbers, what is the volume of devices sold so far?

We are in a quiet period right now so we cannot talk too much about numbers. But I can tell you that we’ve been very pleased with the reception of BlackBerry 10. We’ve had great reaction from customers, carriers and applications development community. We are very pleased with what we’ve seen so far. But unfortunately, we are in a quite period and I can’t talk numbers.

Market is all about the bottom line. You’ve made your projections for Africa and Nigeria. How much is Nigeria going to be driving your bottom line going forward?

I am not in a position to give you a specific figure. But I can tell you that Nigeria plays a critical role in our strategy. We will continue to invest in Nigeria and Africa. We talked about the apps laboratory which we think is very critical. We intend to use this vehicle to ensure that locally relevant apps are available to Nigerian customers.

What sort of business experience is BlackBerry bringing with the Z10?

Out of the box, the Z10 are compatible with active sync. So they can be taking to work so you can sync up with your hardware there. The second part is in conjunction with BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10 which we recently launched in January 23. This offers the capability to have a set of BlackBerry policies for the enterprise. Like I said, one of those here is that you can have this BlackBerry Balance feature. Simply, you can unlock a personal world but there is also a work world in a completely secure framework. If security of electronic information is important to you, the BlackBerry devices are the only one that’s got it.

Do you have plans to bring in Z10 devices that are compatible with the CDMA network in Nigeria?

We are working with all our carrier partners here in Nigeria. We are engaging them and we intend to bring products for all the carriers in the near future.

Can you give us insight into the BlackBerry hub because I know it is a very key feature of the Z10?

Actually the BlackBerry Hub, we feel it is so important. It is what we call a perpetual app, it is always on and lives under your multimedia experience. In the BlackBerry hub, you can have all your different communications there. The hub gives you a view of everything that has come into your communication inbox. You can fully connect it with your calendar and contact to give you a fully integrated experience.

When do we expect a BlackBerry device with a QWERTY keyboard come into the market?

We expect the Q10 which we announced on January 30 to come into the market in Nigeria in the second quarter of 2013.

BlackBerry is still a leader in Nigeria’s Smartphone market with over 2 million connected Smartphone. Do you think that the launch of these devices will extend you leadership in the market in view of the introduction of other smart devices from Samsung, Apple and Nokia?

The BlackBerry 10 offers some unique experiences that other devices are not able to replicate very easily. The BlackBerry 10 platform is a fully multi-threaded platform which means that you can run a number of apps all at once to give you a fully integrated communications.

For those people who really want to be in contact in communication and have a fantastic multimedia experience, the BlackBerry 10 product is the ideal device. We hope that the Z10 and Q10 will give Nigerian customers the best choice possible. So far, we’ve had a really good response and we are very hopeful that the people of Nigeria will take to this proposition very well.

You have done South Africa, Nigeria. Where next?

We think Africa is just full of opportunity. We think there is opportunity in West Africa, North Africa and East Africa. As we go through our business strategy, we will have to take into consideration where are those market we need to be in and how can we get there. We are very bullish about Africa and we think Africa will be big market for BlackBerry in the future.