The Gathering Storm – Why Customers Are Ditching Android For BlackBerry


Go on you… run.

So, as we have seen in many countries such as India and Indonesia when BlackBerry get a bit of marketing going and deliver it doesn’t take much for the shine to come off those ‘other’ devices and the weaknesses of them shines through in comparison.

How many of us said in the darkest hours ‘it will only take getting BlackBerry 10 into enough people’s hands’ to gain this amazing platform traction and see customers rushing to come home.. At the time we seemed like lone voices.

No more.

For, in the former BlackBerry stronghold of Nigeria, that’s EXACTLY what is happening. According to the Nigerian Tribune customers who were tempted by the shiny Android devices at the back end of BBOS7 are now coming #BackToBlack in their droves. And the reason is pretty simple.

Android devices suffer from one fatal flaw. Because of the very nature of the way the OS is designed it is painfully inefficient in comparison to BB10. We’ve all seen, or know of a friend, who got their zippy new Android device which, within months, was a laggy beast at best and at worst pretty damn annoying.

These things eat data for fun. So MUCH going on in the background that you aren’t aware of never mind the apps that busy themselves doing God knows what that you meant to shut down or thought you had but, whisper it quietly, haven’t really (whoops!) and, good news, you’ve sent someone you don’t know all your friends details too.

Oh, and don’t forget that Malware, it needs to bleed your phone too!

In short, it’s all a bit of a mess.

Now, in the West we have tons of wifi and lots of people end up hooked up to that so it’s only the performance and battery issues that make it apparent something is wrong but in Nigeria they rely on their data plans and Android phones are KILLING peoples data usage as the Nigerian Tribune’s Digital Savvy section explains with the help of, yes, I know, ‘Professor’ Apple (no one buys iOS over there so he’s NOT a plant!):

However, the joy of having an Android phone seems short-lived for many users because of the challenge of data subscription costs. Compared to BlackBerry data subscriptions, data subscription for Android smartphones and tablets costs far more.

Speaking with Digital Savvy on the matter, a smartphone dealer, David ‘Professor’ Apple, said that many Android phone users were switching back to BlackBerry devices because of high data subscription costs on Android. “This is the reason many Android users are going back to BlackBerry. The cost of subscription is relatively high. Most Blackberry subscriptions cost N1,000 on most networks and the data that comes with it can conveniently last up to a month. But for Android, the charges are far higher and the data for one month does not last,” he said.

Apple is not alone in his view. Quite a number of Android users have been up in arms, saying that the data subscription for their smartphones is insufficient for their activities online. Many complain that the Android subscription at N1000 hardly lasts up to a week. Some say they even use it up in one day!

The gap between the data available for Android subscription compared to BlackBerry at the same cost is wide. Presently among all the networks, N1,000 subscription valid for one month barely attracts up to 400MB even with all the bonus data some networks offer.

For N1,000, Glo provides 350MB, while MTN has the lowest among networks with its 260MB. Compare this to BlackBerry subscriptions which average 1GB on most networks. Airtel offers up to 2GB, while Glo offers 3GB for N1000 monthly. Again, MTN offers the least at 350MB for N1,000. Yet it still is more than what it offers for Android at the same cost.

Now, you, like me, might read that and think ‘Ok, so the carriers bundle the data differently per device? Well, then that must be it – great work BlackBerry!’ but the answer is actually that the reason BlackBerry customers get better deals is because a BlackBerry 10 device is much more data efficient. As ‘freddysrevng2’ says in the comments to the article:

BlackBerrys use less data….you can buy a less expensive data plan with a BlackBerry and easily make it through the month..

It’s just that the Android phone burns through it at a HIDEOUS rate compared to a BlackBerry 10 device so the carriers offer less data for the same price – it’s all about capacity – and guess what, you have to buy MORE.

So, why stick with Android?

Well, maybe you think that BlackBerry is synonymous with RIM and BBOS.

Too late Androidians, the genie is out of the bottle now:

This time around, the BlackBerry 10 series which users have observed not to ‘hang’ or have battery issues, appears to be their preferred choice for most of them. According to one of the ‘returnees’, who simply identified himself as Kunle, “I moved from BlackBerry to Android; now I just got a Z10.”

So, guess what?

They try it, they love it.

And there’s your traction.

Why stick with Android indeed. Too old, too slow, too inefficient…

And just too damn expensive to run.

Never mind the battery drain, lag, malware etc, etc…

Think if it this way if you are reading this in the West and you have an Android device.

Try turning your wifi OFF.

And see how long your battery and/or data plan last.

Finishing off, it’s nice to see that Nigeria has picked up on the fact that there are those in the West clamouring for their BlackBerry’s too:

Funny enough, outside the country, in the United States to be precise, the same thing seems to be happening. Some phone users are also making the switch back to BlackBerry, albeit for different reasons.

According to a Yahoo News report, at companies where employees were permitted to leave their work-issued BlackBerry phones and bring their own iPhones and Android handsets, they are now begging their IT departments to move back to BlackBerry.

So the links of the chain across the world are beginning to come together.

Run, little robot.

Your time is almost up at the very point at which you thought you had won.

We’re coming.


Bigglybobblyboo is a legend almost nowhere at all. He is a founder member of UTB and spends his spare time taking out his anger at the world with a fishfork and a spatula. He is also a Cribbage Master, having won 1 fight online as the other guy refused to turn up out of fear for his life.