Blackberry – Its Final Days

It looks like the end was sooner then I expected, my BB doesn’t even ding anymore, no more group messages no more random questions people. Even the people who have BB left answer me 6 to 24 hours later, never instantly like they used to. My Blackberry 9900 is still functional without any major issues, a few slow downs here and there but overall the thing is working.

My main reason for keeping the BB going was because of “The Diwaniya” Group, the one group that is always beeping and funny things were said. But now it seems like a deserted desert and I’m the last one holding down the fort. People had to choose which phone they wanted and with the arrival of the amazing Samsung SIII it has accelerated the death of BB. Even with their new release of the OS and any great hardware they have in mind, I think its too little too late, people have moved on, they either chose to join the Android Camp or the Apple Camp. It was good while it lasted and I have my BB 9900 1 year to this date but now no one is there, not worth keeping it anymore, from the 200+ contacts and always active BBM down to 30 people and only 6 people who only use it, its not worth keeping it going. I’m probably going to drop it in a couple of weeks.

Everyone is on WhatApp, I’m not on it yet but I will join it later. From what I have seen its not that good, but everyone is on that platform.

Review: Blackberry 9900

After using the phone for the past 10 days I have really put it through its paces, overall I really do like the phone except for a few small issues which I am overlooking because its a pretty good phone. And its now getting released around town for 190 to 200 KD and the carriers will have the soon with packages, if you are looking to upgrade your blackberry then this is a decent choice.

Pros:

  • Excellent Screen
  • Very smooth Operating System, OS 7 has made the right kind of improvements
  • Excellent Browser
  • Thinner then all the other BBs
  • Nice Carbon Fiber and Rubber Back, doesn’t slip from your hands and can slide on a table if you want it to
  • Excellent quality build
  • 8 GB internal Memory
  • Very nice Keyboard, feels very good when using it, nothing beats a Qwerty keyboard
  • Loud Speaker, had to lower the volume because it was too loud
  • Charges very very quickly

Cons:

  • Lighter then the previous Bold and Touch but still a bit heavy
  • Crappy Camera – No Autofocus
  • Crappy Battery, barely lasts 6 to 8 hours from normal use, but if you switch off 3G and keep it 2G only it increases to 10 to 13 hours
  • Price – A bit on the high side

Overall I am very much liking the Blackberry 9900, its smooth, very well built phone from Blackberry. But what I found surprising is that it doesn’t have autofocus which is a very big disappointment. Battery life isn’t that good, I think we all got used to crappy battery life from all the new phones, when a while ago all the phones had two to three days worth of use, to get decent battery life from your phone you have to switch off 3G and it will easily last the day. Overall this is a decent phone with a few drawbacks that I mentioned, but Blackberry has to do a lot better then this to win people over. Their operating system has improved but they need to change their tactics because they have lost a lot of ground to Apple and Android.

Rating:
r3.5.bmp


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Blackberry 9900 – Lighter, Better, Stronger

We have all reached a point with our Blackberries when we wanted to throw them at the wall. I got the Blackberry Torch when it first came out and I gave up fixing the issues that it had, my email never worked on it. I didn’t think of purchasing another Blackberry really until there was a lighter one and with solid operating system. Recently my Torch has been restarting on its own and with the announcement of the new 9900 I was looking forward to trying it.

Initially I’m not too fond of the Bolds but I needed a thinner Blackberry and wanted to move on from the Torch. I was hoping that the new operating system would be vastly better then before, and I liked that it booted so quickly. I got to playing with it right away and started moving things around, and I liked the OS and the feel of the phone. Its a solid phone but not too heavy, very good for a 5.0 MP camera since other phones have surpassed that now. I especially love the rubber on the outer edge on the rear of the phone and the carbon fiber back, gives a very clean and light look to the phone. It has more of a brushed aluminum frame then it does a chrome frame, thankfully I hate chrome so it isn’t too bad once you see it. Overall its a very nice phone built by RIM with a nice and smooth operating system, I’m going to put it through it’s paces once I’m done transferring one phone to the other. Got the phone for 243 KD unlocked from outside of Kuwait and that includes delivery, if you are looking for a new BB and you want it light then this the phone for you.

Thanks to TouchOfMeh


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Zain – Interaction With Their Tech Support

Blackberry9780

This was probably one of the funniest conversations I have had with Zain’s tech support, I just couldn’t believe what the guy was telling me. I had a problem with my phone, for the last few days its like my Blackberry was having blackouts a few hours at a time, then I went two days without BB connectivity, only connecting over wifi. After trying everything to troubleshoot the issue on my own I thought to call tech support and see what could be happening, because other people with BB were operating normally, and I recently paid the ridiculous amount so I didn’t have an overdue bill.

Conversation:

Tech – “Hello thank you for calling Zain”

Me – “Hello I have an issue with my Blackberry, it isn’t connecting to any Blackberry services”

Tech – “Did you try switching off your phone and turning it back on?”

Me – “I turned it off and turned it on, I took out the battery waited 10 mins and turned it on, I even took out the SIM card for 10 mins and turned it back on, is there something wrong with my line?”

Tech – “I don’t know, did you try putting another SIM in your phone to check if its not the phone?”

Me – “What do you mean you don’t know? And what other SIM?”

Tech – “Doesn’t a friend in your Dewaneya have a Blackberry? Try his SIM in your phone to make sure the problem is with the phone not the line”

Me – “Ok… Still What do you mean you don’t know if there is anything wrong with the SIM?!?”

Tech – “I can’t tell right now if there is anything wrong with your line”

Me – “Why can’t you?”

Tech – “Oh our system is down or being upgraded for the last 36 hours so I won’t be able to tell”

Me – “OK… So if I put another SIM and the phone works, then that means there is a problem with my line and now my phone, would you be able to do anything about it?”

Tech – “No we won’t be able to do anything to fix your line until our system is back up”

Me – “And when exactly will your system be back up?”

Tech – “Give us a call back in 24 hours”

Me – “Great.. Thank you Good bye”

Tech – “Goodbye and Thank you for calling Zain”

Thats 15 mins of my life that I will not able to get back.

Blackberry Playbook

There have been a lot of details and press conferences about the BB Playbook and other tablets. And the Playbook is built on Blackberry’s platform so it will be a corporate communication tool and tablet at the same time. I for one don’t think it will fair very well compared to the iPad, and that the case with other tablets, none of them are gaining the success of the iPad. One main reason is that BB App Store is not even half as good the iPad App Store, there aren’t enough applications and they said they would open it up to the Android market which I am not sure about yet. Apple does make good hardware but that isn’t what sells their product, its the user experience and the selection of quality Apps. And in our case the Blackberry App Store doesn’t work on this side of the world, but for Apple it does, it doesn’t make any sense why they are blocking their App store. At this rate I don’t think the tablet will do well especially since it will have very few applications for the international market and you can only do so much with BBM.

Zain Local Blackberry – No Roaming

BlackBerry9800Torch

With Zain you have a choice of two plans, International or Local, with International you get an extra 10 MB for international use and unlimited local, with Local you get no allowance for international but you get unlimited local. With both plans you pay 6 fils per KB, with the international you get that fee once you go over the 10 MB monthly allowance. Now because of all the pricing and billing blunders that people suffered while traveling internationally with a local plan Zain switched off Blackberry Service for people who travel internationally but with a local plan. If you want Blackberry Service running but you want to keep your local plan you have to go to Zain and sign documents stating that you understand the bills against you. Now I can understand the billing issue but they seriously have to find a way to warn people when they are reaching their limits instead of just cutting them off. My friends just learned about this little change in policy while they were traveling, so even if they wanted to activate their Blackberry service they would have to go to Kuwait and sign the document and then they would switch it on, so no way to do it while you are abroad. But for those who don’t want to switch it on you can still use the Blackberry service internationally when you are connected to a Wifi connection.

BlackBerry: The Alternative – None

BlackberryCurve

“With no solution available and in the public interest … Blackberry Messenger, Blackberry E-mail and Blackberry Web-browsing services will be suspended until an acceptable solution can be developed and applied,” Telecommunications Regulatory Authority director-general Mohamed al-Ghanim said in a statement carried on state news agency WAM.

I was surprised as anyone else for UAE’s and Saudi’s announcement that they will be cutting off all Blackberry Service of all kinds. Meaning that even if you have a service from another provider from another country it will not work in the UAE or Saudi.

There were announcements a few months back that they were contemplating shutting down the service in Kuwait, but luckily they are too lazy to go through the politics to do it, and it would be an damage many of the telecom company’s bottom end.

They cite security reasons as the main reason not censorship, but the reality is that they have no control over Blackberry services what so ever when people use them. In reality it’s very difficult to figure out someone from their Blackberry PIN, and so they can broadcast msgs, send items to people without having it intercepted or scanned. Blackberry came on fire over the past two years in the MiddleEast, everybody wanted the service, and it really took off. But the authorities weren’t to happy, in Emirates they have a lockdown on communications of all sorts, but this one seemed to have slipped them and they aren’t too happy about it, and the same goes for Saudi.

Now for the real interesting part, last year there was a little debacle with Etisalat trying to install spyware on their handsets through a Blackberry software update. That was really the Spyware product of SS8 which can monitor communications of Blackberry, but it was removed by RIM the manufacturer of Blackberry and people were pissed. Now here is the little details they fail to mention, SS8 develops products such as these but they have to take license proprietary software from RIM to use it. SS8 is only licensed to sell the software in the US, Canada, and the UK which they have to the governments, and they aren’t licensed to sell in any other country including the Middle East, that is why they were pissed about the Etisalat debacle in 2009. So I think the tactic of Saudi and UAE are trying to put pressure on RIM to allow SS8 to sell in the Middle East or the service will be shut down and they will lose a large amount of revenue. I don’t know if they do or don’t block the service in a few months but its going to be a hell of a blow to RIM’s income.

Blackberry Curve 9300

Stumbling onto this video at Crackberry is a good sign, I have had my Blackberry Curve 8900 for 1 year and 7 months now, and this thing is falling apart. The trackball is still faithfull and the phone is operating but it can’t read the micro-SD card anymore and hangs every once in a while. I’m surprised it lasted this long after what I put it through, and I have been waiting for Curve update, and here you have it. It will be running the 5.0 OS and now the rumored 6.0 OS which is fine by me. This isn’t a revolutionary phone but an overhaul of the phone to current technology, and I’m happy that they have mostly worked out the kinks in the new OS, so I’m hoping that it will be a smooth operating OS without any issues. The strange part is the guy on the video calling the Curve 8900, the “8500” which is new to me, other then that it looks like a good upgrade to the current phone, I just hope they don’t take too long to release it.

BlackBerry Messenger Delays

BB9700

For the last couple of days I think BBM has been acting up, at first I thought it was my phone since it has started to do strange things and I think my Blackberry Curve is probably at the end of its life at this rate. I have been getting delayed msgs from the same conversation, somebody would get a msg I sent a few hours later asking what I was talking about. Or I would get something someone sent a few hours earlier, again later in the day which is really really strange. I can’t imagine what could be wrong but these delayed messages are really confusing the hell out of me, a few throw me off as they are out of context of the conversations that I might be having. I don’t know if others are experiencing this as much but I hope this gets resolved soon.

Wataniya Launches Blackberry Service

At last they have come to launch the Blackberry Service, as of today Wataniya has launched the new Blackberry Service with the pricing plan below. Looks like their tis going to be competition for the Blackberry Subscribers, and our brethren in the Wataniya camp can at last communicate with us through BBM. Now I wonder how many people will be switching over to the BB service who already have Wataniya.

It seems you can easily switch between the plans, you don’t have to stick to one or the other.

Pricing Plan:

  • Basic: 9 KD with 1 fils per KD
  • Unlimited: 13 KD 10 GB Free
  • Unlimited +: 25 KD 10 GB Free & 10 MB Free Roaming
  • Update:Prepaid Blackberry Service Available