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By 1 June 2012 | Categories: news

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For the second year in a row, RIM's (Research In Motion's) BlackBerry brand cleaned up at The Sunday Times Generation Next 2012 Brand Survey Awards, which was celebrated yesterday at Montecasino Nu Metro Theatre in Fourways, Johannesburg.

The Canadian smartphone and tablet maker managed to scoop the Coolest Cell Phone Award, the Coolest Hi-Tech Gadget Award as well as the Coolest Brand Overall Award. BlackBerry smartphones remain exceptionally popular in SA (and other developing countries), driven by the company’s popular instant messaging service BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) as well as BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service).

A BIS subscription provides users with free access to their email, IM chatting services, internet browsing (excluding video streaming or large file downloading) and social networking (Facebook and Twitter).

In the developed world though, things aren’t so rosy for the Canadian firm as it has seen its mobile phone market share eroded by the likes of Apple and its iPhone and an army of Android-powered smartphones. The company is reportedly making major global changes to its operations that includes laying off at least 2000 employees in the weeks ahead.

More top brands in the eyes of youth

Other repeat award winners in the brand categories include Vodacom (Coolest Telecoms Provider), Apple (Coolest Computer Brand), 5FM (Coolest Radio Station), BMW (Coolest Motor Vehicle), and the University of Cape Town (Coolest University or College).

A couple of repeat winners in the Coolest Local Sportsman and Coolest Local Sportswoman categories are Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala and swimming sensation Natalie du Toit.

This survey is conducted by HDI Youth Marketeers and spans 73 categories, illustrating what the South African youth (aged between 8 and 22) deem to be cool. In doing so it also measures the effectiveness of the marketing and branding campaigns of the companies behind these brands.

The 2012 Sunday Times Generation Next Brand Survey will be available as a supplement in the 3 June 2012 edition of the Sunday Times.

In related news, RIM and the University of Pretoria (a BlackBerry authorised academic centre), recently announced the opening of the BlackBerry apps lab at the Information Technology building on the main campus of UP.

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