Vodacom launches BlackBerry Storm in South Africa


Blackberry_Storm.jpgSOUTH Africa’s leading mobile cellular phone company, Vodacom in partnership with Research In Motion (RIM) on Wednesday announced the availability of the BlackBerry® Storm™ smartphone in the country at a colourful function held at Vodaworld, Midrand.

According to Vodacom South Africa Managing Director, Shameel Joosub, the BlackBerry Storm is now readily available from Vodacom beginning January 28, 2009.

Delivering the renowned functionality of the BlackBerry® solution, the BlackBerry Storm brings entertainment, information and communications to the tips of your fingers.

The stylish smartphone boasts exceptional performance, a stunning display and rich features including 3G (HSDPA) network support, integrated GPS, desktop-style web pages, advanced multimedia, a first class phone, camera and the industry’s most robust messaging capabilities – designed to give users an incredibly fast and powerful mobile experience.

“The BlackBerry Storm is a next-generation smartphone designed to meet the communication and multimedia needs of the most demanding customers.

“With its renowned communications capabilities, rich multimedia features and stylish design, the BlackBerry Storm allows customers to make the most of their time on the go with a fashionable and lifestyle-friendly smartphone,” said Joosub.

The BlackBerry Storm smartphone features the unique and innovative SurePress™ touch-screen, which depresses ever so slightly to aid in typing and navigation and to give users an experience they can actually feel.

Through the revolutionary SurePress touch-screen, the virtual keyboard on the BlackBerry Storm responds like a physical keyboard and supports single-touch, multi-touch and gestures for intuitive and efficient navigation as well as easy and precise typing.

“The “clickable” SurePress touch-screen is a remarkable innovation that dramatically enhances the touch interface and user experience.

“We are very pleased to introduce the first touch-screen BlackBerry smartphone together with Vodacom in South Africa,” said Mark Guibert, Vice President, Corporate Marketing, RIM.

The BlackBerry Storm also features a built-in accelerometer, which automatically switches the display as the user rotates the handset for use in landscape or portrait.

When in portrait mode, users can type out a quick instant message or dial a number using either RIM’s SureType® keyboard layout or a 12-key multi-tap keyboard. When the handset is rotated to landscape, the user is presented with a full QWERTY keyboard.

The BlackBerry Storm smartphone brings images to life with stunning clarity through its gorgeous 3.25-inch, high resolution (480×360-pixels at 184 ppi), colour display.

A multimedia powerhouse, the BlackBerry Storm smartphone has rich media player that handles a number of music formats.

It can even be synchronised with iTunes® so customers can enjoy their music on the move*, or synced wirelessly via Bluetooth® to the BlackBerry® Remote Stereo Gateway to enjoy songs through a home stereo.

The BlackBerry also comes standard with a premium stereo headset. The built-in speaker and stereo headset both deliver music with excellent sound quality.

The BlackBerry Storm also has 1GB of onboard memory storage, comes standard with an 8GB microSD/SDHD memory card and supports up to 16 GB of storage per memory card.

BlackBerry Storm users can also find their way in unfamiliar surroundings thanks to built-in GPS and Vodafone SatNav which comes preloaded.

Vodafone SatNave enables users to find an address and track their location simply and easily. It can also display the route on a 3D map, together with audible step-by-step directions. The 3.2 MP digital camera with autofocus, a powerful flash and video recording rounds out the smartphone’s rich multimedia capabilities.

Preloaded with an incredible selection of applications that were custom-built for use on BlackBerry® smartphones, the BlackBerry Storm enables users to simply and easily keep web community pages current, continue instant message chats or even add pictures directly to Facebook®.

Preloaded applications include: Facebook for BlackBerry Smartphones, Windows Live™ Messenger for BlackBerry Smartphones, Yahoo® Messenger for BlackBerry Smartphones, Flickr™ Photo Uploader for BlackBerry Smartphones, Vodafone SatNav, powered by Telmap SatNav technology

The BlackBerry Storm smartphone will be available to both Vodacom’s Prepaid and Contract customers from participating Vodacom outlets, across South Africa. Customers can also call Vodacom Direct 0860 123 123 or go to www.vodacomdirect.co.za for the best deals and have the smartphone delivered to their door.

Starting as low as R59.00 per month for the BlackBerry® Internet Service (Prepaid and Contract) and R98.00 for BlackBerry® Enterprise Service (excluding device), customers get unlimited email, unlimited Internet browsing, as well as unlimited use of pre-loaded data applications (for accessing sites and services such as Vodafone SatNav, Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Flickr and Facebook from the handset) without incurring any additional data charges**. These pre-loaded data applications are available in conjunction with all personal and corporate BlackBerry service options for the BlackBerry Storm


  1. It is fairly useless. The main problem is that it will not even start if you do not have a perfect signal. It just give you a “network time-out” and exits. Very frustrating. This happens about 30 % of the time.

  2. I have a complaint with my two weeks old storm, which is now lying idle at home, whilst I’m using the old Ericksson P910i, because is riddled with software problem. How nice, a two weeks old phone, which can’t be exchanged, what a rip-off.

  3. There are NO accessories that are included with the purchase unlike HTC.
    Great! you’ve got GPS but no holder to use it in your vehicle.
    Should you want accessories first of all they’re almost impossible to find and then exorbitantly expensive compared to other makes.
    The next is the software upgrade, 280mb! the server is in Canada and the download so slow leaving the desktop on all day i’ve YET to achieve the download.
    To reset the unit requires taking it apart each time,no reset button!
    Each function must be closed after use otherwise the the battery runs down quick.
    Vodaphone sat nav is awfully longwinded to have up and running!
    The instruction booklet is empirical by other phone standards. etc,etc.

  4. The Storm is the most useless phone I have every owned. After a only few weeks I had to send my phone into Vodacom to get the software reloaded as the phone kept on resetting itself almost every day. The battery only lasts around 5 hours if the data services are on therefore the entire purpose of having instant e-mails is useless. I therefore cannot have my e- mails coming in when they are sent to me and every hour or two I have to manually turn the data services on to download my mails to preserve the tiny battery life. I might as well be using older technology other than push technology as the battery can’t sustain the functionality of the phone. I do enjoy the ability to have e-mails on the go and other data services at my finger tips and really thought that I did have the best phone on the market as I requested when I did my upgrade, but was far from that. It not only is slow and faulty it also has such a fragile screen that is not very functional as the entire screen must be pushed in to select any option. Needless to say my screen broke after having the phone for 3 months. I now cannot get Vodacare or Vodacom to even look at the phone’s software problems now as there is so called external damage according to Vodacom’s policy with Blackberry and the warranty does not cover this. I need to now pay almost R3000 to get the entire handset replaced as repairs cannot be done to these phones. I am now using my old Sony Ericsson K800i which at least makes calls and I can get my e-mails with no fuss. Vodacom and Blackberry should recall this product as it is not at all what it is advertised to be. To recall this product would be the right thing to do. Admit that the Storm is a failure, cut your losses and move on. This is a terrible way to introduce the Blackberry name to the South African market as I do believe the other handsets are much more reliable. I would never encourage anyone to buy a Blackberry from the experience I have had with the Storm and the service I received when trying to fix the problem.

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