My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Blackberry popularity wanes as Jamaicans go smartphones - Android and Apple's Smartphone Revolution

Monday, May 28, 2012

Blackberry popularity wanes as Jamaicans go smartphones - Android and Apple's Smartphone Revolution

It now appears that the conclusions and predictions in my blog article entitled OUR Records Voice Decline for the Fourth Quarter of 2010 - Postpaid, Data Services and Fixed Line Mobile and Landline Saturday Night Fever for Telecom Providers” based on the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) report comparing the Fourth Quarters of 2009AD and 2010AD now have some basis in our current timeline.

This as it now appears that the popularity of Blackberry’s are waning as Jamaicans opt to go for smartphones as stated in the article “Jamaican loyalty to BlackBerry wanes”, published Sunday May 20, 2012 by Steven Jackson, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.


This trend is now showing itself among Jamaican consumers who are opting for a smartphone as their second mobile device as well as Google Trend Data. Jamaican smartphone usage now stands at 50% of the market since January 2012AD when compared to Blackberry’s.

This based on Tags attached to emails, SMS messages and search requests sent by these smartphones i.e. “Sent by Google Android” often seen at the end of smartphone email messages.
The results from Google Trends are summarized as thus:

2.      Samsung accounts for 25% of these smartphone in Jamaica overtaking Nokia in 2011AD


Traditionally, Blackberry’s are prized for their email and Blackberry Messenger service based on their unique PIN Code, which is used to route messages to any Blackberry around the word via RIM (Research in Motions) Blackberry Server Network. With two main Servers on in Canada and the other in London and Domino Servers hosted in various Telecom Provider Networks around the world, they are effectively a Data Service MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator).

For Jamaicans, the Blackberry has the advantage of cheaper replacement parts, higher quality hardware and more importantly a fall in the price of Blackberrys now as cheap as JA$15,000 due to Americans chucking them away and upgrading their two (2) years Contracts to smartphones as stated in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Android smartphones may be king in 2015AD, but RIM Blackberry quality shines”.

To date, the Blackberry in Jamaica has been reduced to a phone many males give to females as a gift in exchange for sexual favours as well as a clever means of keeping track of females. With smartphones more for the male intellectual crowd such as college students mimicking our counterparts in the US of A as stated in my Geezam blog article entitled “StudyBlue reveals Smartphones, Tablets make you smarter – The Big Bang Theory on Google”.

However, Blackberry has been struggling of late in the Global market ever since the apple iPhone came into existence. The smartphone boom of 2010AD marked the beginning of the end of Blackberry as stated in my blog article entitled “The 4G Revolution and the Summer of 2010”!

At that time, it appeared that Blackberry was destined to be dethroned, based on the early numbers at that time as prognosticated in my blog article entitled “Blackberry - Is the Writing now on the Wall for RIM?” and “Blackberry Bashing - The Phone I hate so much that I would give it away for Free”. Not even the Blackberry Torch 9800 could help stop the slide in popularity of Blackberry among Americans.

By the end of 2010AD, statistics from research strategy firm Strategy Analytics indicated a rush on Google Android powered smartphones and Apple iPhones and a snub to Blackberry’s latest offerings as stated in my blog article entitled “Blackberry Torch 9088 and RIM - Its clobbering time”.

Not even the hype over Blackberry coming Tablet towards the Fourth Quarter of 2010AD, aptly codenamed the Blackpad as stated in my blog article entitled “RIM and the BlackPad - to Infinity and Beyond” and “RIM and the BlackPad - RIM's Black Pad and Steve Jobs the American Ninja” could make RIM cool again. This as the final Product that launched in the First Quarter of 2011AD as noted in my Geezam Blog entitled “RIM’s PlayBook needs to become a Real Tablet” was half baked.

RIM ended up having to recall one thousand (1000) of them on May 13th 2011AD due to a glitch in the new QNX OS that was running on the RIM Playbook as recorded in the article “RIM recalling up to 1,000 PlayBook Tablets, published MAY 16, 2011 6:03 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News - Digital Media.

Blackberry’s had been banned in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as authorities in the secular sate feared that its strong encryption made it too easy for terrorists to organize themselves as stated in my blog article entitled “BlackBerry and India - Shiva the Destroyer”. An irony, as this is Blackberry’s main strength.

RIM’s Earnings Call on Wall Street in the First Quarter of 2011AD indicated increased profits but lower than expected with Blackberry sales down in the US of A and a 11% tumble in the value of RIM shares projected for the remaining Quarters in 2011 as faithfully mused in in my blog article entitled “RIM decline and Android Ascendancy - No Country for Old Men”.

It only got worse in 2011AD, as Blackberrys usage by hooligans was implicated in the organizing of the London Riots on Saturday August 6th 2011AD as faithfully recorded in my blog article entitled “Social Networking and England Riots - We didn't start the Fire, it was always burning”.

Meanwhile sales throught 2011AD in the US of A and worldwide got worse for Blackberrys with the launch of the Apple iPhone 4 on Telecom Provider Verizon’s Network as stated in my blog article entitled “Apple iOS 4 vs Google Android - BlackBerry Shot the Sheriff”.

Blackberries being ditched left, right and center as people snapped Apple iPhone 4 as chronicled in my blog article entitled “Verizon and the Apple iPhone 4 - The Golden Fleece”.

Towards the Fourth Quarter of 2011AD, Blackberry yet again decided to ramp up their offerings with some news phones as listed in full colour pictures in my blog article entitled “RIM Blackberry steps up to 1.2GHz and Faster Browser - QNX and Qualcomm Voyage of the Dawn Treader”. Low-end smartphones, but a positive development nonetheless, making me start rooting for Blackberry under the quiet once more.

The trend towards Mobile Music driven by services such as Amazon Cloud Drive, Spotify, Google Music and Apple’s iCloud service as stated in my blog article entitled “Apple iCloud and WWDC - Iron Eagle to be Top Gun in the Dangerzone”.  That got RIM’s attention and interest in Mobile Streaming with BBM Music at US$5.00 per month being the result as stated in my blog article entitled “BBM Music Service coming for US$5 monthly – The Sound of Music attracts Millennials”.

This has largely been the trend coming into 2012AD. Meanwhile Jamaica has largely remained Blackberry Country. However, the presence of CLARO Jamaica and their introduction of 3G Mobile Internet showcased to Jamaicans the idea of Mobile Internet on their phones and the Apple iPhone 3G, then exclusively on CLARO’s Network.

CLARO has since departed from the market, but the Apple iPhone contracts went to Telecom Provider LIME, with the Apple iPhone 4 launched in grand style on Tuesday June 14th 2011AD as given the full Press Release in my blog article entitled “LIME and the Apple iPhone 4 - The Young and the Restless Gone in Sixty Seconds”.

LIME Customer loved it so much that they launched the apple iPhone 4S on January 13th 2012AD again as given the full Press Release in my blog article entitled “Apple iPhone 4S to debut in China and Caribbean on Friday January 13 2012 - LIME gives Jamaica the Best of Both Worlds”.

These events acted as a spur for Jamaican uptake for smartphones. It was also an early indication that Jamaicans were indeed interested in smartphones, once the marketing and price were right, albeit price seems to have very little to do with the sudden surge in interest in smartphones.

According to LIME Regional Head of Corporate Communications, KalandoWilmoth, quote: “It is important to note that smart phone users choose a device based on lifestyle demands. But a unifying feature of this group is the need to always be online and connected. So, the price of the iPhone is a key driver of the demand.

Along with a monthly plan, customers can walk out of a LIME store with an iPhone for a little as J$5,199 plus GCT. Other well-known features include the many apps and the personal assistant, Siri, the picture quality, and other multimedia content.”

Truth be told, most people are unable to afford LIME Apple iPhone 4S offering, but they like the idea of a phone with full blown Web Surfing, Apps and Voice command. Not to mention there has been an increase in spare parts, repair series for smartphones as well as improved hardware associated with name-brand companies such as Samsung and Apple as stated in in my blog article entitled “Apple iPhone and Hardware Quality - The Count of Monte Cristo Hard Knock Life”.

For those missing Blackberry Messenger, there is an alternative in apps such as WhatApp as well as built in option in Apple iPhone such as Apple iMessage as explained in in my blog article entitled “Apple iPhone 4S and Apple iMessage - Timeline for Standardization of Instant Messaging”. So many opt to have friends and family ship it down from abroad as they are cheaper and you are not paying for your foreign relative’s benevolence.

As for the Data Service, these smartphones come with Wi-Fi, a benefit mainly to low-cost Municipal Wi-Fi Networks such as Dekal Wireless as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “LIME’s 4G Experience Centers challenge the Rise of Dekal Wireless Dragon”.

However, this is driving fear into the hearts of the Big Telecom Providers as stated in in my blog article entitled “LIME's 4G Experience Centers&Digicel's JA$8.99 One Rate Plan - Telecom Providers fear Municipal Wi-Fi SkyFall from Broadcasters DSO”.

Albeit there may be a smartphone boom, very little of it benefitting cash-strapped Telecom Providers, who often opt to piggy-back on Open Wi-Fi Networks in New Kingston and use Municipal Wi-Fi Networks in Clarendon and across the island Town Centers.

Thus there may be some truth to the article “Jamaican loyalty to BlackBerry wanes”, published Sunday May 20, 2012 by Steven Jackson, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner as it would explain the increasing trend towards smartphones, but the apparent decline in Data Service Usage due to the Telecom Provider Data Plans being overpriced.

It also explains why LIME has decided to drop its Data Rates come May 1st 2012AD and roll out a Gimme 5 Clone in the form of LIME XL Value Promotion as stated in my blog article entitled “LIME launches XL Value Campaign and slashes 3G Mobile Prepaid Data come May 1 - Shadows of the Old Republic as LIME does Baby Cham's Wine”.

All this comes at a time when Telecoms in Jamaica is getting exciting again. First there is the Cross Network Calling Rates is set to drop as stated in the article “Call rates to drop”, published Wednesday May 2, 2012, The Jamaica Gleaner .

Add to that the looming legal battle between Telecom Provider Digicel and the FTC (Fair Trading Commission) over their swap with America Movil that landed them the Telecom Provider CLARO and its spectrum as explained in my blog article entitled “FTC wins right to pursue legal action against the Digicel-America Movil swap - Game of Thrones as Mobile Data Candyshop beckons”.

Stay tuned as this unprecedented development unfolds in Jamaica as we at Last fall in Love with smartphones.


Post a Comment