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How to transfer data from BlackBerry 10 to a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c

BlackBerry and iPhone

Everything you need to know about transferring contacts, photos, calendars, music, and more from your BlackBerry 10 device to your new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c!

So you gave BlackBerry’s newest platform a shot, wasn’t happy with what they’ve made so far, and now you’re falling into the arms of a shiny new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c. We can’t blame you - the iPhone 5s is a pretty attractive piece of hardware and the iPhone 5c is a pretty good deal even if it wasn't the budget iPhone we all expected. iOS 7 is introducing a lot of great new features too which make the entire package even more atttractive. For many this is going to be a return to familiar territory, for others it’s going to be a bit of a culture shock. Either way, we’re here to help.

Here's how to get your stuff from your old BlackBerry 10 phone to your new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c:

Google, Facebook, and Twitter

The easiest way to transfer contacts, calendars, and notes is through a cloud service. If you're already using one of the many that are cross-platform, you can get your contacts over in just a few steps. If you’re using Gmail as your primary account on BB10, your address book and calendar should be ready to pull down to iOS with minimal effort - iCloud can handle all of that stuff too. If you’re using contacts on another service, like Yahoo! or Exchange, the situation is similar.

If most of your contacts live in either Facebook or Twitter, iOS natively lets you bring down your Facebook and Twitter contacts into the default Contacts app in just a few easy steps. Just head into the Settings app and tell both of them to update your Contacts app.

Third party services

If you don’t trust Google or iCloud, you can also use a third party app like InTouch to upload and restore content between devices, though there’s little reason to trust them any more than Google or Apple. Pictures, music, and other files can be shunted over through the native Box or DropBox apps on both handsets, or Google Drive if you grab PlayCloud 10 on BlackBerry.

Box even offers automatic uploads on BlackBerry 10 which makes it super simple to get all your photos into the cloud. Once they are, just download the Box app for iOS and all your pictures will come down safe and sound, no cords necessary!

BlackBerry Link

If for whatever reason you can’t or don’t want to have your data sent up to the cloud you can side-load your contacts from your PC using BlackBerry Link. If you've already set up BlackBerry Link and are regularly backing up your data (wirelessly or otherwise), it's entirely possible that all of your data is already good to import through iTunes. If not, full details on using Link can be found here, but here’s the play-by-play to get your contact and calendar data from your BlackBerry onto your computer.

  1. Plug in your BlackBerry 10 device to your computer over USB.
  2. Open BlackBerry Link. (Download it here if you don’t have it already.)
  3. Click the arrow at the tab at the bottom for your BlackBerry device, and under Synchronization, click Set Up Contact Syncing.
  4. Pick either Outlook or Windows or Mac Contacts from the drop-down menu and click OK. Back up to step 3, and do the same for Calendar Syncing. Remember what you pick here - it’s what you’ll need to restore from iTunes later.
  5. In the left-hand pane, click Sync Calendars/Contacts.

Music, pictures and videos can be handled similarly through BlackBerry Link, except they’re backed up to iTunes.

  1. Plug in your BlackBerry via USB.
  2. Click the bottom tab for your BlackBerry device, and click the gear in the top-right. Check to make sure the Computer Import Folders are monitoring the same directory as your iTunes music, pictures and video libraries.
  3. Ensure under the device tab that all of the content types you want to import are checked off, then on the left-hand pane, click Back Up Now.

To skip using BlackBerry Link, simply copy your files from your BlackBerry to your Mac or PC. Just plug in your BlackBerry, open up your file explorer on your computer, find the pictures, music, and video directories on your BlackBerry (by default on the SD card, but be sure to check the separate device storage), copy the directories, and paste them somewhere readily accessible on your computer. From there you can move the files to where iTunes can sync up with them appropriately.

Now comes the easy part - getting everything from iTunes onto your shiny new iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, or whatever other iOS device you’ve picked up. The set-up process is largely unchanged from previous generations, which we’ve run through before here. If you’ve got iTunes, Outlook, and iPhoto hooked up to the data you’ve pulled down from your BlackBerry, this should be easy-peasy.

  1. Download and install iTunes if you haven’t already. You’ll also need to sign up for an Apple ID if you don’t have one.
  2. Ensure iTunes has scanned and registers as much of your media to transfer as possible.
  3. Power on your new iPhone, and log in with your Apple ID.
  4. Follow the set-up instructions and sync with iTunes over either Wi-Fi or USB.

At that point, iTunes should start hauling in music, photos, and video. Contacts and Calendar items in Outlook are pulled in through iTunes as well; click the iPhone button in the top-right, click the Info tab, and you should be able to toggle all three and sync again. If they say they’re being synced to the cloud already, then hop on your iPhone, go into Settings, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and make sure the appropriate sections within each account (including iCloud) is disabled. Keep in mind, however, that syncing over the cloud is by far the easiest way to go about handling all of this stuff.

That's all there is to it. You should now be good to go with your brand new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c and iOS 7. Make sure you check out our complete review and all our iOS 7 tips and tricks via the links below as well!

Still need help?

If you encounter any hiccups during the transfer process, our iMore forums are a great place to ask for and receive help. If you have any other tips, feel free to drop those in the comments below!

See also:

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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There are 10 comments. Add yours.

snison says:

Who would do something that stupid? Moving from BB10 to iOS 7 is like going from Windows 7 to Windows 3.11. iOS 7 is already archaic and all they did was steal ideas from Palm.

snison says:

Yes, yes, let's just screw everything up where no one can find anything!

How to find Spotlight search - and your apps! - in IOS 7
How to switch to Video mode in the iOS 7 Camera app
How to find List view in Calendar in iOS 7

Genepsu says:

I would keep your black crap no apps slow as hell and battery pulls same crap as before go back to your crackberry site . Not everyone likes blackberry look at the numbers .

BBPandy says:

actually I like the scroll through on the iOS7 camera.....though that's about the only thing I like about iOS7. My 4S is now quite laggy. Not a big issue when using apps, but is very annoying when playing games.

BBPandy says:

^^^^^^ what he/she said ^^^^^^

CharlieOtto says:

Because people like Apple...
Plus, you can transfer contacts and SMS from BlackBerry to iPhone easily with Phone Transfer.
You can read the tutorial to see if you can do it same way.
http://www.transphone.net/phone-transfer/contacts-from-blackberry-to-iph...

sophie s says:

Well, we (me and my husband) just did and we're completely happy with our new iPhone 5s running on iOs 7. I recently switched or should I say upgraded from Blackberry Torch (running on OS 7) to iPhone 5s and my husband just dumped his Blackberry Z10 (running on OS 10) for iPhone 5S. So far so good. We both are completely satisfied.

I transferred my contacts and SMS messages from blackberry to iPhone quite easily with the help of Mobitrans software. Here's that guide for more info: http://www.iphone-to-pc.com/transfer-data-from-blackberry-phone-to-iphon...

snison says:

Have you actually used BB10 or just "heard"? My has never been slow and I haven't pulled the battery since I got it in May. It doesn't lag playing Need for Speed or Modern Combat 4.

I have iOS 7 on my StraighTalk (AT&T ya know...) iPhone 4 and I'm not being a hater, I just don't think it's the hype. The layout is still old looking to me.

The one thing I wanted was a BiteSMS type quick reply and don't have it... Also, my Wi-Fi isn't working with WPA2-AES. I've seen 7.0.2 as web browsers via posts on this site, so apparently they know about it.

BB 10.2 is awesome. I hope you take time to use it. One of the top BB issues is carriers having to approve OS releases instead of forcing them like Apple does.

jtfolden says:

Which is all BB's fault. They could have put themselves in a position to control software delivery when they had a better market position, just like Apple, but they didn't.

Let's not forget that Apple forged that convenience from the beginning, when they had zero clout as a smartphone maker.

byoefey says:

Maybe some E-mail like google account and outlook help to transfer contacts from BB to iPhone. However, your BB will polluted by contacts from E-mail either. So the easily and safe way is to Google some transfer programs.
http://www.transfer-iphone-recovery.com/blackberry-contacts-to-iphone.html