As it reads folks. For a long time you know that I have been working with carriers in Australia to get a commitment on the Priv. It seems that BlackBerry Australia has been working hard to get Australian Carriers to stock the Priv as well. As revealed in an article on PC World Australia, Australian Carrier Optus HAS CONFIRMED that they will be stocking the Priv in this country. This was further confirmed by BlackBerry Australia officials last night at an official, but intimate hands on with the Priv device itself. As to dates and prices, they have yet to be confirmed. Optus seem to be revealing nothing until they have everything in place. This may be due to stock arriving from Waterloo, Carrier Testing, or some combination of the two. Many are stating next year, but we are hopeful that BlackBerry and Optus can work things out to deliver a date before Christmas.
Last night’s hand’s on experience was a great event which saw our very own Chap and a few of his Aussie mates being treated to some food, drink and playtime with the Priv at the not-so-famous (but favourite after work watering hole of N2N Communications, the PR company who handled the event) Hotel Harry on Wentworth Avenue in Surrey Hills Sydney.
We here at UTB have written reviews and our Blogcasts have recently been filled with Brad and Dave’s experiences of the Priv so you all know the basics. However, one of the things which I was surprised by was how smooth the operating system was on the device. Bearing in mind of course that the devices we played with had internal test OS’ which will still be a few months from being launched to the public. One of the things I was on the lookout for was the bubble in the back that people had spoken of. This is apparently due to there not being wireless charging in some devices. I felt no bubble and the Australian version doesn’t come with wireless charging.
Two questions popped into my head as we witnessed the features being displayed. The first was what about Blend and Link. Wayno (new UTB blogger and fellow Aussie) asked the question of Blend and the response was a little disappointing that there was no current focus on Blend and that it would not be coming to the Priv. I commented that Blend was what made BlackBerry devices so unique. The one device can be used by multiple people at the same time and that leaving your phone at home did not mean that you could not be productive. We wrote about that here. When I also commented about Link and the usefulness of remote access to files, I was advised to make note of these features and inform BlackBerry that they were important to users.
Aside from these issues, the device seems smooth and extremely versatile. Will it be enough to sway this Chaplain to move from BB10, only time will tell. Perhaps not! Priv is without a doubt the best, securest and most productive Android phone on the market. We thank BlackBerry for the opportunity to get a hands on with the device, for some great food and good conversation. UTB looks forward to more interaction with BlackBerry Australia as the years and devices roll on. My particular thanks go to Travis, Georgie and Judith who worked so hard to make it happen.