BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has at least one market where it can still boast dominance akin to what it enjoyed globally in years gone by. As reported by Quartz, they are still pacing the market in South Africa, where BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s five-year-old 8520 Curve has been the top phone for four years running now.
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s free messaging service between devices is cited as the primary reason for the device’s continuing success in South Africa. Before free app messaging services like WhatsApp became prominent, free messages between devices was a major feature, and that has fueled a sort of self-sustaining ecosystem of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) users.
That is further reflected in the fact that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) actually has the three most-used smartphones in the country, not just the top one. The 9320 Curve and 9300 Curve 3G Kepler come in at second and third, according to data released by Vodacom, the nation’s top provider. The 9360 Curve also comes in at seventh, while the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Apple iPhone 5 come in at ninth and tenth respectively.
The Canadian smartphone maker has had a difficult time globally in recent years, losing market share at a tremendous rate to the voracious appetites of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), who have dug into it like a starving man at a buffet. Even in Canada, the patriotism that once existed for the Canadian tech company has mostly evaporated. In fact, a report from comScore earlier this year showed that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s market share had fallen to just 5% in Canada, beneath their global share. Apple and Google (Android) meanwhile control over 80% of the Canadian market.
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) releases their latest quarterly earnings next week, with analysts predicting earnings of just $0.16 per share, compared to $0.47 a year ago. The struggling smartphone maker also releases their new “Passport” phone on September 24, and has a press event scheduled for September 29, where new smartphones and other devices may be unveiled. BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) is rumored to be researching wearables, and could possibly reveal a new smartwatch on the heels of Apple’s recent announcement.
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