Cape Town – Research In Motion announced that its new BlackBerry Bold and Torch is available in white in South Africa.
Vodacom customers can opt for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 or the Torch 9810 in white.
The smartphones, which dominate the South African market, run the BlackBerry 7 operating system (OS) and a browser that RIM says is up to 40% faster than its predecessor.
Part of the BlackBerry success in SA is linked to the BlackBerry Internet Service and no other manufacturer has offered a smartphone with a similar service.
Sony Ericsson said in time, their devices will catch up with BlackBerrys in SA, as is the trend in developed markets.
“The BlackBerry phenomenon is literally a phenomenon in South Africa and the Middle East where BlackBerry enjoys such a very healthy market share,” Sony Ericsson Southern Africa marketing manager Colin Williamson told News24.
The BlackBerry 7 OS recently met the security criteria for evaluation assurance level 4+.
RIM hopes that this certification will no doubt re-assure IT managers that BlackBerry devices are secure platforms for corporate communications.
Nokia has identified cost as a driver for consumer behaviour toward the BlackBerry brand and said that they are focused on this with the new Windows-based operating system they have built.
“So we are certainly looking at that cost-conscious [consumer] or driving data efficiency with the devices,” said Patrick Henchie, Nokia head of product for South and East Africa.
Despite the local success for RIM, the company is under pressure from Android-powered devices and Apple in developed markets.
Google’s Android commands more than 50% of smartphones in the US and in the last three months of 2011, Apple sold 37 million iPhones.
Recently, joint RIM CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie resigned as the company looks to Thorsten Heins to take the firm back to international success.