Monday, April 23, 2007

How far away is Blackberry software for the iPhone?

Posted April 23rd, 2007 at 6:39 PM by JG Mason

Coming this fall, RIM will unveil software that will turn Windows Mobile 6 smart phones into a Blackberry clone, complete with push email, icons and 3rd party apps. RIM says there are benefits to running the virtualization software on a Windows based phone.

This is all well and fine, but pretty quickly I asked myself, “how far out is the iPhone version?” iPhone naysayers love to point out that it is not a business phone. Can Blackberry software inside change that? Would a flashy phone that achieves the same amount of email addictiveness be a hit with management? RIM confirmed they are working on supporting other platforms but would not confirm which ones. (Blackberry already offers this software for Symbian and Palm-based Treos.)

Anyhow, I believe creating a virtual Blackberry would have been bigger news about a year ago. Today, Microsoft is offering push email with its Exchange servers and the iPhone will have it from Yahoo. But the idea of brining a simple service that everyone knows is attractive and I suspect RIM will do well with it, as now companies are not tied to the RIM devices.

Are we about to see some convergence in corporate America, no longer mandated to carry two devices? Will business folk downsize to just a smartphone vs. todays seemingly standard of a Blackberry and a phone if it still means constant connectivity? It looks to me like the folks at RIM are working hard to remain relevant; and that could be the answer.

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