Blackberry’s popularity continues its nosedive in the Middle East


Blackberry, previously considered the preferred smartphone for most business users and internet savvy youths in the Middle East, has once again suffered a further decline in consumers’ interest during 2014, as Samsung eats further into the smartphone market, while reasserting its new dominating position primarily in Israel, Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia.

Already plagued by political distrust by some Arab States, and a forever hanging potential ban in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Blackberry has been trying to contemplate new ways in which they can lure back the millions of users it would have lost to Samsung in the Middle East. 

While this process had started some two years ago, with the Middle Eastern launching of its BB Z10 series on the 10 February 2013, the short-lived excitement soon fizzled out from the emotions of many consumers from Tel Aviv to Riyadh.

Subsequently, in obvious frustration, Blackberry, formerly known as Research in Motion or RIM, slashed the prices of the Z10 devices in Dubai and Tel Aviv, even before they were actually released in the United States and Canada. 

Blackberry Limited is a Canadian based wireless telecommunications service provider and smart phone equipment manufacturer. It is widely considered as one of the most reliable and most secured provider of voice, messaging, and mobile internet communication services around the world.

However, several countries in the Middle East later openly expressed severe political distrust of the company’s communication management systems, due to the fact that its voice, internet and SMS database is entirely hosted on Canadian and American soils.

As such, they had feared that local authorities may be able to monitor security sensitive communication particularly among terrorist group. 

And though Blackberry had initially resisted efforts to have some of its BBM communication hosted and monitored in countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, threats of service disruptions subsequently forced the company to adhere to some aspects of those countries respective requests.

Some analysts has since tied Blackberry’s continuous decline in Middle Eastern consumers’ confidence to its decision to comply with those demands, which they believed would have compromised the communication privacy of the average BBM user. 

+