By Charles Mgbolu
Developers of the Blackberry phone; Research In Motion (RIM) has through it’s Managing Director for Africa, Mr. Deon Liebenberg announced that the Blackberry App World, an application that had initially been closed to users on the continent has now been launched in Nigeria.
BlackBerry App World, the official application store for BlackBerry smartphones, provides BlackBerry smartphone customers with an integrated service for discovering, downloading, recommending and managing mobile applications for personal or business use. Application stores have traditionally been closed to users in Africa and so the launch of Blackberry App World in Nigeria is a major milestone in the process of increasing access to online content and tools for African and Nigerian consumers.
Customers can now download BlackBerry App World directly to their smart phone as it automatically presents customers with the relevant catalogue of applications available for their specific BlackBerry smartphone model.
Speaking at the Mobile Web West Africa conference in Lagos RIM Managing Director for Africa Deon Liebenberg said: “We are very pleased to offer this experience to our customers in Nigeria, which we see as a very exciting market going forward.”
Blackberry had not given reasons for the blockage, but CyberLife had probed and a source had opened up. The reason for the initial blockage is clear. Nigeria and similar other African nations were not recognised internationally as a major market bloc because the Apps had to be paid for online and Nigeria like most third world nations had been unable to do this until recently. With any of the internationally recognised smartcard, users of the Blackberry phone in the country can now pay for and have the applications.
This problem had shut the country out but only for a short while as the nation has fast transformed into a phenomenal market with blackberry users in the country going into their hundreds of thousands.