When in a lecture, you’re bound to hear the distinct sound of someone’s BlackBerry. If you’re already a part of the BlackBerry crowd, you know about the great entertainment value that the phone has to offer. And if you’re not yet BlackBerry literate, it’s time you take a crash course.

According to, BlackBerry was started by the Canadian company Research In Motion. BlackBerry has been around since the late 90s, but has only recently caught on in South Africa.

The first model (released in 1999) was a rather unpopular pager. From the 1999 pager to the various different models today, the BlackBerry has come a long way.

Today, BlackBerry is the “it” Hollywood phone and is used by countless celebrities, and even features in series like One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries.

A BlackBerry is about becoming more organised; it’s an entertainment centre, laptop, PA and mobile phone in one. While it certainly looks stylish and trendy, it’s much more than just a fashion item.

These smartphones can do the basics like calls and messaging. On top of that, you can send and receive emails, navigate your way with the map function and have a range of applications including Facebook and Twitter on your phone. Blackberry Application World lets you download free applications that improve your phone and lifestyle.

So what’s the best part? BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) lets you send messages to other BlackBerry users for free! This means that if any of your friends also have a BlackBerry, running out of airtime for smsing could be a thing of the past.

For a fixed monthly cost you have unlimited use of all internet related services. Even if you don’t have a cent on your phone, the internet will still work if this service is activated.

BlackBerry works on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). If the BES crashes, so do all internet and BBM services. This has happened before. It may not be pleasant, but that’s what happens with an independent server.

Cell C, MTN and Vodacom have contract packages for BlackBerry phones. Cash wise you will have to cough up anything from R2 000 to R8 000. But with all the handy features, it may well be worth it.

Give your social life the red carpet treatment. Once you go Black (Berry) you never go back.

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