So why are Blackberry’s proving so popular in South Africa? We did some investigating…

1. Flat Data Plan

For as little as R59 p/m Blackberry users can enjoy unlimited email, selected web-browsing and instant chat. On the iPhone users are required to pay per megabyte of data received – that includes downloading email (dammit!)

2. Instant Messaging

The Blackberry comes bundled with RIM’s own Blackberry Messenger (BBM) – a chat messaging service that runs off the data platform and thus costs far less than sending traditional SMS’s. Unfortunately the BBM only works between Blackberry’s. iPhone and Android users have access to similar applications – such as WhatsApp – but the majority of these services have already announced they plan to levy a fee in the near future.

3. Keyboard

Touchscreen keyboards are great once you’ve got used to them – the iPhone’s most certainly included. But hardware keyboards just work, no getting used to required. The Blackberry Torch does have a touchscreen keyboard, though most users opt to use the hardware style QWERTY keyboard.

4. Battery Life

The early iPhone’s were thwarte with battery outages – you could hardly walk to the corner Cafe for a chocolate without having it die on you. The new iPhone’s have improved dramatically in this area, but despite having a higher capacity battery (1420mAh in comparison to the Torch’s 1300mAh) the strain of the iOS is greater and thus the Blackberry still lasts longer.

5. It’s Quicker

The Blackberry may only pack a 624MHz processor – compared to the iPhone’s 1Ghz – but the phone’s memory management handles the multitasking required by most savvy users far better.

Final Verdict

These are two very different devices and one overriding rule should be adhered to in that all important ‘upgrade’ decision: “An Apple a day will keep the boredom away, but the Blackberry’s better for business.”