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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

R.I.M -Blackberry & Increasing Competition

Symbian, a maker of operating systems for cell phones, has licensed software from rival Microsoft,- a sign of growing cooperation between the two companies. The deal is also an extraordinary development signaling a possible detente among the two companies now vying to control the market for software to power smart phones. Smart phones make up an indiscernible percentage of today's 1.2 billion cell phones, but they're expected to become more prevalent by the end of the decade. For now, Symbian dominates the market, mainly because Microsoft has had trouble generating interest for its phone software among No. 1 handset maker Nokia and others. The Economist also writes,The seemingly ubiquitous e-mail device faces growing competition. What Apple's iPod music-player is to teenagers, the BlackBerry e-mail hand-held is to executives: the gizmo they cannot be seen without, and often cannot live without."RIM hopes to benefit as wireless e-mail,like the mobile phone before it, goes from being an executive toy to a technology with mass appeal.Currently,70% of RIM's revenue comes from the sale of BlackBerry devices, and the rest from software and services. To broaden its reach, RIM has licensed the BlackBerry software to big handset-makers such as Nokia, Motorola and Samsung, while continuing to sell its own devices. It is both co-operating and competing with some much larger companies, as it navigates the transition to a more software-and services-based business. Other firms sense an opportunity to offer handset-makers their own BlackBerry-like software instead. "This segment is switching from proprietary innovation to standards-based mainstream growth," says Danny Shader of Good Technology, a maker of wireless e-mail software that runs on a wide range of hand-held computers and smartphones.
The next versions of Microsoft's mail-server and PocketPC software, due in a few months, will include support for BlackBerry-style "push" e-mail. Getting mobile e-mail to work is far harder than it looks "The complexity is masked by this very simple, user-friendly device," says blackberry executives. One possible outcome is that RIM and Good, a competitor will end up fighting over the lucrative corporate market, while the less-demanding consumer market becomes commoditised. But with hundreds of millions of e-mail users worldwide and, despite their apparent ubiquity, only 2.5m BlackBerry devices in circulation, it is still early days for the mobile e-mail business.

Category : Blackberry
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