BlackBerry has the #1 market share in the UAE.
While the iPhone manages to attract a lot of limelight, it’s still BlackBerry that has the lion’s share of the market in the Middle East. At the BlackBerry Innovation Forum held at Dubai yesterday, Khaled Kafel, the General Manager at Research in Motion, Middle East, shared some numbers for the region. BlackBerry has the number one Smartphone market share in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. According to analysts, BlackBerry shipments in the UAE accounted for 45% of the total number of devices meaning almost every other Smartphone user has a BlackBerry.
You don’t really need to look at the market but just around you to validate these claims. Within my immediate family, there are four iPhone users, one Android user and six BlackBerry users. In our office, we have three people using a BlackBerry and three using an iPhone.
Advantages for the BlackBerry on a corporate level are pretty self-explanatory, however, a lot of consumers also enjoy using a BlackBerry and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is probably one of the biggest reasons why the BlackBerry is so popular.
BBM started out as a simple instant messaging application that allowed BlackBerry users to chat with each other for free over their telco’s BlackBerry plan. Over time, RIM added support for sending voice notes and pictures to your contacts making it a great and informal communication tool between friends and families. On BBM today, you can initiate group chats on which your contacts can post pictures and comment on them.
Khaled Kafel mentioned that BBM has become the number one mobile social platform in the world and I can see why. Of the countless devices that I’ve used multiple chatting applications on, I can vouch for BBM being the most reliable and connected option.
So while the iPhone continues to make a lot of noise, its the BlackBerry that quietly steals the show.