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Tech Tuesday – BlackBerry Z10 Overview

February 13, 2013
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Are you ashamed to have a BlackBerry? It’s not exactly a status symbol anymore, at least not in the U.S., after it got left in the dust by the iPhone. And in South Africa, having a BlackBerry is like owning a Toyota Tazz. It was once an affordable and economically car but it was quickly replaced by the Toyota Yaris.

Now, there’s a new BlackBerry that wants to get back into the cool club: the Z10.

It’s the first phone to run the new BlackBerry 10 operating system, and it is, at first blush, a very good stab at regaining at least some of the cachet of the BlackBerry. So even if the Z10 does everything it set out to do, it might not be enough to save Research In Motion Ltd.; the home of the BlackBerry. The company is changing its name to BlackBerry but that could just be the prelude to riding the brand into the sunset once and for all.

It doesn’t exactly help that the Z10 looks like every other smart phone on the shelf. It’s a flat black slab with a touch screen, nearly indistinguishable at 15 feet from the iPhone 5 or a multitude of Android smart phones. The screen measures 4.2 inches diagonally – a bit bigger than the iPhone but smaller than most Android phones.  Turn it on, and the differences become more evident. Older BlackBerry devices are great communications devices but are poor at multimedia and at running third-party apps, something the iPhone excels at. The new BlackBerry 10 software is a serious attempt at marrying these two feature sets. Also, the Z10 is easier to use than an Android phone, but more difficult to use than the iPhone.


But what does this mean for the South African BlackBerry addicts?

According to South African mobile operator 8ta, it has confirmed that Research in Motion (RIM) has redesigned the architecture of its mobile operating system for BlackBerry 10.BlackBerry 10 traffic will terminate on the carrier’s ‘Internet’ APN – unlike the current BlackBerry Internet Services (BIS) and BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) traffic that terminates on the ‘blackberry.net’ APN.

In other words, no more ‘free’ internet! Subscription charges on the popular BIS data packages (hence the unlimited, flat-rated data packages) will fall away with the BlackBerry 10 operating system.  This is to “enhance the user experience of consumers who download apps, games, music, videos, books, magazines and more via their handset,” 8ta said. The new BlackBerry 10 network architecture will enable mobile networks to package unique offers to consumers.

BlackBerry 10 deals and devices will be available through 8ta flagship stores and Telkom Direct Stores from 1 March 2013.

Written By: Marisa Calvert (@Reesiebabygirl)

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