MTN launches BlackBerry 10

Cape Town - MTN has announced that the new BlackBerry 10 smartphone is available from Friday.

The updated smartphone from Canadian-based BlackBerry was launched globally on 31 January and the company has been on a charge to build an ecosystem ahead of the launch that included engagement with developers to ensure that applications were available for the smartphone platform.

"The ecosystem is what makes the platform scalable and successful, and that's why we've put so much focus in ensuring that at launch we have 70 000 apps," Alexandra Zagury, BlackBerry managing director for South Africa and Southern Africa told News24 at the launch of BlackBerry 10.

The company touted the devices ability to manage both a work and personal profile so that it is secure and user friendly.

"The information that's contained in your work profile cannot be transmitted to you personal profile and also, it allows the CIO to dictate what are the IT policies that need to go on that work profile," said Zagury, indicating the firm's desire to target the corporate market.

Rich media

MTN announced that the devices will be available in stores on Friday, following the announcement by Vodacom on Thursday that it would also carry the BlackBerry Z10.

MTN emphasised that while the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) that has seen the platform dominate the South African smartphone market would continue on the BlackBerry 7 operating system, the new platform does not support BIS.

"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," MTN said.

The new platform utilises a range of rich media internet services, including video chat and the operator insisted that customers will have access to reduced data costs.

"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," said Mike Fairon, general manager of Product & Solutions at MTN SA.

The BlackBerry smartphone is available at prices starting at R399 per month on an MTN Anytime 200 contract.


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