One of the biggest current secrets of the cellular market in South Africa is the release date of the BlackBerry Z10. LIRON SEGEV digs up the facts.
On 30 January 2013 the much anticipated BlackBerry 10 was launched to the world. The new features were revealed and the announcements of over 70 000 apps really captured people’s attention.
Every time I do an impromptu demo of my Z10, I am asked: When will the Z10 be available? How much it will be and what packages will it be on?
Here is what we do know:
How much is the BlackBerry Z10?
We know that the phone will retail at R6999.95 thanks to Incredible Connection’s website:
When will the BlackBerry Z10 be available in South Africa?
This is still a bit of a mystery.
At this stage, there is much speculation, with the cellular networks not revealing any information.
I did receive an email today from Vodacom saying that ‚”it’s coming soon‚”.
I was once told that if you don’t ask the question you will not get the answer.
So I decided to ask.
I popped into various MTN and Vodacom stores over the past week and ask the store manager when will the BlackBerry z10 be available in South Africa?
At the time of publishing, five out of the six stores replied that they expect to have them between the 20 and 23 March. However, sources now say that the date has been pushed forward to as early as 25 February.
What packages will the BlackBerry Z10 be on?
To that question, there was no answer.
I have been assured that BIS will still be around for BlackBerry 7 customers. I have also seen a move by the various networks offering very specific BlackBerry plans that include or exclude services, depending on the BlackBerry package.
There are even speculations that MTN will be moving towards replacing its unlimited BIS packaged with ‚”limited to 200MB‚” packages. This is a bit of a thorny issue amongst existing BlackBerry users who are currently paying R59 for the unlimited package as in the future, for the same price they will get only 200MB (and for R45 you get 300MB from Cell C).
So it looks like the networks have been gearing themselves up to separate the current flat ‚”BIS‚” fee into many different fees with varying services and data bundles.
When I look at how the BlackBerry 10 is being packaged and sold in Canada and the UK, there isn’t no consistency either.
Carphonewarehouse is showing the Z10 with various bundled data from100MbB up to 2GB:
In the USA, Rodgers is offering unlimited BBM Video calls with selected plans for 12 months:
In Canada, Telus Mobility is selling the Blackberry Z10 on various data plans that include video messaging. Although it is not clear if this is referring to BBM Video Calling, as the Terms and Conditions refer to iMessage, which of course is the iPhone messaging.
What is common however is that it seems like all that BlackBerry 10 requires is a data package and unlike its predecessors, BlackBerry 10 doesn’t require a specific BlackBerry contract as traditional ‚”Service Books‚” are done away with.
World Wide Worx MD, Arthur Goldstuck, is quoted on an ITWeb article as saying that ‚”it appears that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) which will still run through BlackBerry architecture will be uncapped as part of any data plan.
We eagerly wait for official announcements. This ‚”not knowing‚” is starting to frustrate even the most die-hard fans, who are desperately holding on to their Torches and Bolds, just waiting for the news that they can upgrade. I just don’t know how much longer ‚”coming soon‚” is going to be a sufficient answer for them.
If you ask me, the wait is worth it. Lets just hope it is indeed soon.
* Liron Segev is also known as The Techie Guy. You can read his blog at www.thetechieguy.com or follow him on Twitter on @Liron_Segev
* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA