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BlackBerry Z10 released in SA

Both Vodacom and MTN have announced the launch of the much-anticipated new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone in South Africa this week.

The Blackberry Z10 will be released in South Africa tonight by Vodacom, at a trade and customer event taking place at Vodworld in Midrand. MTN will follow two days later, releasing the device on 22 February. Vodacom announced today that the Z10, powered by the new BlackBerry 10 operating system (OS), is now available from Vodacom World in Midrand and will be available from other Vodacom stores on 22 February. MTN SA released a statement today that the Z10 will be available at MTN stores nationwide on 22 February.

The BlackBerry Z10 is available on contract from Vodacom at R479 per month, which includes 75 voice minutes, 150 SMS and 575 MB data per month for 24 months.

The offer includes unlimited BBM texting until 31 May 2013. Vodacom will launch a new BBM offer from 1 June 2013, but no pricing has been disclosed.

The BlackBerry Internet Service is not available on BlackBerry 10 but it is available on earlier BlackBerry devices: this includes all BlackBerry devices on OS7.1 and earlier.

Phil Patel, Chief Officer of the Consumer Business Unit at Vodacom said: ‚”We’re delighted that today our customers are among the first in Africa to experience the new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone powered by BlackBerry 10. We’ll also be launching the BlackBerry Z10 LTE which will be available at stores by mid-March, so our customers can look forward to enjoying the new features on the BlackBerry Z10 and a great internet mobile experience‚”.

MTN will come to market with a slightly different offering, which also excludes BIS on the new device. ‚”By ranging the BlackBerry Z10, MTN reaffirms its commitment to providing its customers with the latest cutting edge mobile technology available in the market,‚” says Mike Fairon, GM: Product & Solutions at MTN SA. ‚”Our efficient and fully-optimised network affords our customers an opportunity to enjoy a world-class Internet and telephony experience, and to fully unlock the potential of the new and improved features and services on the Blackberry Z10.‚”

The new BlackBerry Z10 is the first smartphone based on the re-designed, re-engineered and re-invented BlackBerry 10 platform, giving customers a powerful and unique new mobile computing experience. The BlackBerry Z10 smartphone is the fastest and most advanced BlackBerry smartphone yet, and offers a smarter experience for users.

MTN says it has an array of Blackberry plans designed to suit the demands and affordability of customers that use the BIS service.

“While existing BlackBerry customers will continue to be able to utilise BlackBerry BIS services, one important change for customers buying the new BlackBerry 10 OS is that it does not offer the Blackberry BIS service. These customers will be able to use their BlackBerry 10 phones like any other smartphone user by loading any of MTN’s data bundles,”” said Fairon.

‚””The great news is that MTN has vastly reduced its Internet bundle rates and data price plans for our customers. We have reduced our data prices by as much as 40%. Therefore, our BlackBerry Z10 customers will continue to enjoy BBM, E-mail, Internet browsing, social network and other BlackBerry services at the most affordable Internet rates on a world-class MTN network.‚””

The BlackBerry Z10 will be available at stores on the following MTN packages:

· MTN Anytime 200 for R399 over 24 months (includes R200 airtime value and 250MB data)

· MTN Anytime 350 for R499 over 24 months (includes R350 airtime value and 250MB data)

· MTN Anytime 500 for R549 over 24 months (includes R500 airtime value and 300MB data)

· MTN Anytime 750 for R879 over 24 months (includes R750 airtime value and 300MB data)

· MTN Anytime 1200 for R1299 over 24 months (includes R1200 airtime value and 300MB data)

· MTN Anytime 1500 for R1599 over 24 months (includes R1500 airtime value and 300MB data)

BlackBerry 10 includes advancements such as:

· Peek and Flow into the BlackBerry Hub A new mobile computing paradigm where what matters to customers is always only one swipe away

· Keyboard Understands and adapts to customers, so they can type faster and more accurately

· BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) Allows customers to share things with the people that matter to them in an instant

· BlackBerry Balance technology Protects what is important to customers and the businesses they work for

‚””The BlackBerry Z10 smartphone delivers a powerful new mobile computing platform for BlackBerry customers. With BlackBerry 10, every feature, every gesture, and every detail is designed to keep customers moving,‚”” says Alexandra Zagury, managing director at BlackBerry for South and Southern Africa.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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