RealTime IT News

Handspring, RIM Getting Close

Two wireless rivals may be realizing that they are stronger together than apart, according to a report by the Toronto Star Friday.

Handspring President and CEO Ed Colligan told the Star that his company -- maker of the Treo Communicator, a device which combines a Palm OS PDA with a mobile phone -- is making overtures to rival Research In Motion that would allow the Treo to support RIM's Blackberry software.

RIM has gained a sizeable foothold in the enterprise market, with companies turning to its Blackberry Enterprise Server and Blackberry e-mail devices to deliver e-mail to employees wirelessly. According to the Star, Colligan wants Handspring to license RIM's software, allowing Blackberry Enterprise Servers to deliver e-mail to its Treo devices.

He said that enterprise customers have told him that they would use the Treo if it didn't mean replacing their existing e-mail server software.

The Star also reported that RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie acknowledged that such a partnership between the two rivals would fit with RIM's strategy, though he could not say anything definitive.

Handspring has already licensed RIM's keyboard technology, as has Palm. And last November, Finnish titan Nokia licensed the Blackberry e-mail software for its phones.