Blackberry Exclude BIS From New BB10 Phones, Lower Sales Expected In African Market

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BlackBerry (BBRY) announced at yesterday’s launch that the new smartphones based on the BB10 platform will not support the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS).

It became apparent as Rory O’Neill, Vice President of Product & Channel Marketing at BlackBerry, was answering questions related to the BIS service on the BB10 phones and on BB 7 based smartphones.

O’Neill explained that the BB10 smartphones will not come bundled with BIS nor support it. The only service to run on BlackBerry’s infrastructure will be BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and some enterprise related applications.

O’Neill said: “The R59 per month unlimited data for BlackBerry 7 is a proposition that we really believe in. We work very closely with our mobile network partners to keep that proposition in market.

“We’re continuing to innovate BlackBerry 7 and for the segment of the market where social messaging and that experience is really important, we will continue to have, and we will continue to build out new experiences both from a hardware and software perspective.”

So it is not all doom and gloom for African users of BlackBerry as BIS is likely to still be available for BlackBerry 7 based smartphones.

He added that they are in negotiations with mobile providers regarding how to structure BIS related to BlackBerry 7 based smartphones and he also acknowledged the popularity of BIS in South Africa, but does not believe the lack of BIS in BB10 smartphones will hurt their sales.

O’Neill said: “I don’t think it will hurt BlackBerry, to be honest, because I really think they are two different segments of the market and it’s important that we keep both segments served.”

Anecdotal evidence on social networks and various BlackBerry users suggests that the majority of those in Africa will start considering purchasing “cooler” smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy range and Apple’s iPhone because they would nonetheless have to pay for data charges.



Quo non Ascendam. Writer. E-mail:


  1. this is not true, please do your research before posting, BIS is still going to be available for bb10 phones, what they have done is you now have option of using the phone without BIS , i.e a normal data plan as u would use for the iphone or andriod,

  2. > “BB10 smartphones will not come bundled with BIS”
    and the key bit “nor support it. ”

    so now I cannot
    – setup complex email filters on the BIS manangement website
    – benefit from only having the passwords securely held at the BIS website
    – cannot (currently) connect to exchange (though that seems a temporary bug in 10.1)

    over an above the true ‘instant’ push email.

    The one thing that I was waiting for instead of going to say Win 8,
    it is simple, as restrictive (in common apps available) as BB10,
    or maybe going the whole bit and going apple ?
    maybe try windows, and have some live tiles – one for each email ?

    if BB don’t value BIS, it is either an old device
    (I even loved 8220 series/protected keyboard the CDMA one was even better)
    or leave them.

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