Vodacom customers will be the first to get their hands on the new BlackBerry Q10 smartphone, which will be available at Vodacom World and other participating outlets on Thursday 2nd May 2013. The Q10 is the first BlackBerry 10 OS device with a physical keyboard.
We had the opportunity to play with the Q10 at the recent Z10 launch, and we walked away very impressed. It certainly sticks to a similiar feel to the Bold 9900 which was a great phone to hold with premium materials.
Vodacom customers get even more with the new BlackBerry Q10 smartphone. New contract customers will receive unlimited BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) texting and file sharing* for 24 months, valued at R19 per month. In addition to this, customers will also receive double their data for the first two months of the contract. Contract prices for the Q10 can be found below: (more…)
BlackBerry has left their fans without a premium phone since the Bold 9900, and instead focussed their efforts on the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. The day has finally come that we can spend some hands on time with their new Z10 handset, which is major shift for BlackBerry. Gone are services like BIS and BES, but BlackBerry has finally caught up with its competitors with decent software and a great new gesture based user interface.
So is a BlackBerry without BIS and the lack of a physical keyboard still retain what makes BlackBerry a great device? (more…)
We really like the new BlackBerry Z10, but it is a phone that is meant to compete in the top end of the market. BlackBerry is going to have to quickly move its fancy new operating system to cheaper phones. Right now the Z10 and Q10 devices are the only officially announced devices to run the BlackBerry 10 operating system.
So its good to see a new lower end keyboard based BlackBerry out in the wild – no clear indication of release date or cost has been confirmed. The device is clearly still a developer based device, with the serial codes blurred out. You can also see it is a white plastic phone – we are wondering whether this a replacement for the Curve series of devices. The new “R-Series” device is speculated to launch at a $300 – $400 price range, and will ship with 8GB of storage, and a good ol’ full qwerty keyboard combined with a touch screen.
Finally, the much anticipated BlackBerry Z10 entered into the smartphone boxing ring. Being a current BlackBerry user myself and looking to update my phone, I was keen to get my hands on the Z10 to see if BlackBerry would be able to convince me to stay on their team. I was quite fortunate to get my hands on the rare white version and immediately peeled off those “fresh device” plastic covers protecting the screen and battery cover.
Setting up the phone was a breeze and BlackBerry takes you through the ins-and-outs with an interactive video, teaching you how to use the new device. The Z10 has no buttons on the front of the phone, and it takes some getting used to to unlock the phone merely from the touch-screen. This was quite a change for me with most BlackBerry devices having a keyboard with which to navigate around the phone. BlackBerry’s previous success was strongly based on making e-mails easily accessible and I found that they’ve put a lot of effort into letting you set up your e-mail accounts without any hassle. Even with my e-mail accounts at lesser known service providers, it was just as easy as setting up my Gmail account.
One of our favourite apps, Powertime, today announced the availability of its Powertime application for BlackBerry 10 smartphones. The easy to use application is now available for download on BlackBerry World.
The Powertime application enables customers from Eskom and all major municipalities in South Africa to buy prepaid electricity tokens with one click, at any time, using their BlackBerry 10 smartphone. The app also provides users with their purchase history, allows them to manage multiple meters and to use several forms of payment; such as a credit card, debit card, EFT and the PayGenius electronic wallet.
“We are extremely pleased to introduce this application featuring the fully-fledged existing Powertime functionalities available on the Powertime website, while also leveraging the unique capabilities of BlackBerry 10.” says Sebastien Lacour, Powertime Managing Director.
The New Powertime BlackBerry10 app was developed by Cape Town based international technology company Methys, Powertime’s technology partner. Christophe Viarnaud, Methys Managing Director, added “Powertime Users will recognize services such as prepaid voucher purchase, usage reports, energy saving tips, Powertime’s patented virtual meter and low electricity push notifications. This new BlackBerry10 app is the best of the entire Powertime mobile apps range, with new features such as very intuitive navigation on touch screen interface and a full integration with BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).”
In the coming weeks, further updates will be made to the application, to integrate the in-app purchase of electricity usage monitors, efficient lighting devices and will also add an exclusive cloud-based analytics capability to track household and appliance usage.
For more information on the Powertime application, visit: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/55943/
RIM (now BlackBerry) has been having a tough time of late – its phones have quickly fallen out of favour from even die-hard crackberry fans, and the competition is more stiff than ever. Users of high-end smartphones have flocked to Android and iPhone, and even enterprise customers have moved to these alternative devices.
Problem was that until now BlackBerry devices have had to do with sub-par software, poor app selection, slow browsers etc. But fans lived with these issues for the benefit of having flat-rate data in the form of BIS. But time has moved on, and the potential benefit of having flat rate data is just not relevant anymore in the high end smartphone world.
BlackBerry’s BB10 devices hope to convince users that they should give up BIS for the benefit of a completely new operating system.
Since launching on 24 September 2012, the Ster-Kinekor app for BlackBerry smartphones has been downloaded more than 200,000 times. After being live for just over 2 months it’s now the most popular of the suite of mobile apps released by the entertainment giant, Ster-Kinekor.
The Ster-Kinekor app for BlackBerry allows users to choose their seating, view detailed movie synopses and trailers as well as enriched movie news from Africa’s leading entertainment content provider all wrapped up in an enhanced user experience, which adapts automatically to suit the entire BlackBerry range including its touch screen devices. The developers are also ready for the future. Not only is the app BlackBerry 10 ready for the BB10 launch, it is also a BBM Connected app, which makes it easy for users to share movie information and chat to their BBM friends within the Ster-Kinekor app.
“The fact that the BlackBerry version of the Ster-Kinekor app has reached this download milestone so quickly is a testament to the power of smart user-friendly design,” says Lynette Hundermark, Head of Product Strategy at Prezence Digital, one of South Africa’s leading digital and mobile web and native application specialists.
Tim Bishop, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Prezence Digital says that “Core to the mobilising of the Ster-Kinekor brand with this suite of apps was that it allows Ster-Kinekor to be able to transact and connect with all of its customers in a manner that suits their lifestyles and choices leaving nobody excluded.”
“It’s for this reason that while the focus for many other brands and agencies seem to be exclusively in the ‘trendy’ iOS and Android platforms, we at Prezence Digital are always pushing our clients to also unlock the power of BlackBerry in South Africa. Now the numbers say it all. Out of the total number of downloads to date across the Ster-Kinekor mobile app suite, BlackBerry constitutes almost 60% which indicates the larger penetration of BlackBerry smartphones in this market.”
Referring to the company as “platform agnostic”, Doug Place, marketing executive for Ster-Kinekor, said as Africa’s leading entertainment content provider, it was important to both Ster-Kinekor and customers that its digital content be available on whichever mobile device they prefer.
“Beyond providing a simple and seamless experience to our customers, the cornerstone of Ster-Kinekor’s digitising and mobilising strategy, was to ensure that regardless of their preferences, the power of film was right in the hands of our customers,” Place says.
Go check out the the Ster-Kinekor app on BlackBerry App World:
Mobiflock launched its parental control service for smartphones in March 2012, which allows parents to monitor how their children use their smartphones and also helps them put the appropriate limits in place to keep their kids safe. The service has become popular with BlackBerry smartphone customers.
“Parents are concerned about the dangers their digitally native children could face, and with Mobilock, parents can and are doing something about it,” says Patrick Lawson, founder and CEO of Mobiflock, the mobile safety and security company. “Given the popularity of BlackBerry smartphones in the youth market around the world, and especially in South Africa, it’s not surprising that our service is popular on BlackBerry.”
In 2011, BlackBerry accounted for 44% of all smartphones used in South Africa and 6% of all cellphones, according to research house Ipsos. In addition, according to the Generation Next 2012 youth brand survey, BlackBerry was voted the ‘coolest’ brand overall, as well as the ‘coolest’ cellphone and the ‘coolest’ gadget.
“There is no denying the massive benefits of giving children a smartphone: access to the mobile Internet, educational content, communication in emergencies, entertainment and socialising,” says Lawson. “However, there are some very real online dangers that parents need to learn about, and protect their children from.”
According to recent research released by Unisa’s Youth Research Unit (YRU) (more…)