Friday, 25 March 2011

Blackberry Bold smartphone launches in SA - but no touch

image - BDFM Online
Its a small step forward as Blackberry announces its to sell the new phone in SA - but no giant leap as RIM eschews touch screens
Published: 2011/03/25 09:23:09 AM

MTN and Research In Motion have announced the BlackBerry Bold 9780 smartphone is now available for customers in South Africa.

The Blackberry Bold features an easy-to-use keyboard and optical trackpad and the new 6 operating system - and is available in black or white.

""We’re pleased to bring the BlackBerry Bold 9780 smartphone to MTN customers," said Deon Liebenberg, managing director for Africa at RIM. "Featuring the new BlackBerry 6 operating system, the BlackBerry Bold 9780 delivers a host of new and compelling features that will help people stay in touch with everything that

is important to them throughout their day."

Serame Taukobong, chief marketing officer at MTN said they’re expecting good sales.

"The BlackBerry Bold series of smartphones have been enormously popular among MTN subscribers and we expect the BlackBerry Bold 9780 to experience an equally enthusiastic uptake. It offers our customers a rich user experience in a compact, attractive design."

The Blackberry is 3G and WiFi enabled, and includes a 5 mega pixel camera featuring auto focus, scene modes, image stabilization, flash and video recording.

It has 512 MB Flash memory and an expandable memory card slot that supports up to 32 GB of additional storage.

For social networking there is a dedicated YouTube app, and music and pictures applications.

But the phone is no giant leap, its pretty similar to the other 9700 ranges - and the camera at 5 mega pixels is good, but not great.

Still no touch screen - which means the Blackberry is still basically an old fogies product. The modern user who is not necessarily a businessman or over 50, prefers touchscreens as these provide for better browsing - and game play.

That’s established in the mobile industry and has been since the iPhone blew everyone away years ago with its first touch. Smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy and Android devices now all use touchscreens but Blackberry is determined to stick to its pretty old fashioned typing method.

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