By Ibrahim Olukotun
Lagos. February 11, 2013 Airtel Nigeria during the weekend announced the pre order of the iconic phone, Blackberry Z10, making it the second mobile phone operator to introduce the promotion in the country.
Technology Times last week reported the MTN Nigeria launch of the Blackberry Z10 pre order opportunity for its subscribers.
Though MTN and rival Airtel Nigeria have pegged the prices of the new Blackberry at N100, 000 but are silent on when it will be commercially available.
Commenting on the development, market watchers are of the opinion that operators are constantly exploring new ways to consolidate and widen their subscriber base but some predict that more operators may join the fray in coming weeks.
To buttress this point, Alvin Ofoukwu, Sales Manager, Slot Systems Limited compares the ongoing promotion to what happened with Apple’s iPhone 5 that uses a Nano SIM which is 60 per cent smaller compared to the regular SIM and that cannot work with other phones.
He says a leading telecoms operator has started issuing Nano SIMs to existing and prospective subscribers before the commercial launch of the iconic Apple phone.
According to him, this serves dual purposes of deepening penetration of devices and increasing the subscriber base of the participating telecoms operators.
Blackberry Z10 has been gaining huge tractions from phone consumers since the news of its debut hit the market. Unlike previous models of Blackberry from the company formerly called Research In Motion (RIM) makers of the smartphone, the new entrant BB Z10 does not come with physical keyboard but just touchscreen only.
But Blackberry says the most important part of the Z10 is the new operating system called BlackBerry 10.
Despite BlackBerry’s struggles in the global smartphone market, the company demonstrated innovation and carving a niche for itself by building its own mobile OS for smartphones and tablets instead of depending on third parties like its rivals.
At first glance, BB Z10 looks a lot like iOS with its static grid of app icons. However, there is more to BB Z10 than just regular apps on the screen. BlackBerry cleverly designed the OS so everything can be controlled with gestures which are not confusing or difficult-to-learn gestures, according to an analyst.