Despite an international market decline, Blackberry remained a dominant smartphone player in developing markets, said World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck.
A study has found that, over the past 18 months, BlackBerry’s market share in South Africa rose from 4% at the end of 2010, to match the market share of Samsung at 18% by mid-2012. Samsung’s market share fell from 28% in the past 18 months.
“As in other developing markets, the demise of BlackBerry in this country remains a myth. BlackBerry’s continued strength lies in its appeal to the younger market, with the Curve models maintaining a ‘cool’ image,” said Goldstuck in his 'The Mobile Consumer in SA 2012' report, adding that the brand held 28% market with the 16- to 25-year age bracket.
The report found that a further 16% of cellphone users say they intend to buy a BlackBerry next and, despite the “wealthy top end of the market” abandoning BlackBerry for the iPhone and the new Samsung Galaxy S3, BlackBerry remained dominant in the smartphone segment, he pointed out. Of the 10-million smartphones sold in South Africa in the past 18 months, about 4.8-million were BlackBerry devices. Nokia accounted for about four-million of the smartphones sold.
“Nokia remains far and away the most popular cellphone brand among South Africans aged 16 and over, living in cities and towns,” Goldstuck added.
The mobility study showed that Nokia, which held a market share of 50% in mid-2012, down 1% from the 51% recorded in 2010, was expected to remain the number one cellphone brand in South Africa until the end of 2013, albeit with a slightly lower market share.
The iPhone, which currently held 1% of the market share, was expected to gain momentum, with a sixfold increase in market share to 6% in the next 18 months.
Motorola’s market share fell from 11% at the end of 2010, to 2% in 2012, while LG maintained its 5% market share.
The report also found that the Chinese ZTE brand, with its low-cost devices, reached a 2% market share, while Sony-Ericsson fell from a 2% market share, to 1%.
The prospects for Motorola, LG and Sony were bleak, said Goldstuck, noting that unless the brands undergo drastic revitalisation, all three would fall below 1% of the market share.