South Africa’s two biggest operators have almost simultaneously launched the hotly anticipated Z10 smartphone, making it available in stores nationwide from tomorrow (Friday).
Vodacom officially launched the device in Midrand, Johannesburg, last night and have confirmed pricing plans for BlackBerry’s leading device.
A two year contract, at R479 (US$54) per month, will get consumers 75 voice minutes, 150 SMS and 575MB of data.
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.”
Vodacom confirmed the BB10 devices would not support the popular BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS), but remains so on earlier devices which run the OS7.1 or earlier software.
Patel added the BlackBerry Z10 LTE will be available in stores by mid-March.
MTN have provided a wider choice of price plans which range from R399 to R599 per month. All the contracts are for 24 months.
Despite issuing a statement yesterday categorically denying they would be discontinuing the BIS, MTN has confirmed it will not be available on the Z10.
They said: “These customers will be able to use their BlackBerry 10 phones like any other smartphone user by loading any of MTN’s data bundles.”
The operator did state however that it has reduced the cost of its Internet bundles.
“We have reduced our data prices by as much as 40 percent. Therefore, our BlackBerry Z10 customers will continue to enjoy BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), email, Internet browsing, social networking and other BlackBerry services at affordable Internet rates,” added MTN.