I was in Rockwell last weekend looking at a Globe Telecom display of its offerings and was considering getting a second phone as a back-up to my Smart Data Plan. They had a couple of BlackBerry's on display.
Four years ago, RIM's BlackBerry smartphones were the most coveted smartphones in the Philippines. I applied for one for years ago, but back than it was enterprise only. But really it was never about the phone, but the service. With unlimited data plans coming to regular handsets in 2010, your modern Apple iPhone or Google Android phone received the same functionality as a BlackBerry. Still you had you have low cost services like BlackBerry Social which gave you unlimited access to your social networks, instant messengers and BBM.
In 2011, came volume data plans which for a few hundred bucks access to your social networks and instant messengers. Sure its not unlimited, but neither was BlackBerry Social. Click a link to a websote shared by a friend on Facebook on Twitter, and you get charged the Php5 of Php10, regular browsing charge.
So, RIM is on the ropes. It is loosing market share to Apple's iPhone and Google Androids. Still there are over 78 million BlackBerry users around the world, and RIM did sell 48 million smartphones last year. RIM is in transiton. RIM will be moving over to BlackBerry 10 in 2013, but apparently BlackBerry 7 phones will continue to be produced for the entry level and mid-level devices.
In the meantime, the RIM's phones are expensive for what they offer, jurassic in terms of technology and the BlackBerry app store has a limited selection, and is expensive to boot.
Is there any reason to get a BlackBerry?
If you are on a prepaid line, it really makes little sense these days. If you are willing to spend on a unlimited data plan, a Apple iPhone, Google Android or Microsoft Windows Phone device will serve you better.
On the other hand, if you budget for a line is about Php1000 a month, a BlackBerry may still be the phone for you?
For Php999 a month Globe will give you a decent BlackBerry handset, a Curve 9320, unlimited internent and access to BlackBerry services, a freebie (example: 10 minutes of calls and 200 SMS with in the Globe network) and Php400 consumable.
Sure, the hardware is not all that exciting, but a smartphone is not really all that smart without a data connection, and a unlimited data connection is the best type to get.
Is it a good deal? It is Php400 a month cheaper than the next best option.
For the same Php999 a month Globe Telecom will give you a Nokia Lumia 610, unlimited data and one freebie. The Nokia Lumia 610 is a much more interesting and capable device, but you do not get the Php400 a month consumable for calls and SMS to other networks.
If you budget for a phone is about Php1,000 a month, a BlackBerry from Globe might not be a bad way to go.