RealTime IT News

BlackBerry, Treo Makers Team Up

Rival handheld computer makers Palm and Research In Research said today they would incorporate RIM's wireless e-mail service into Palm's popular Treo 650 smartphone as well as future mobile devices from Palm.

RIM's BlackBerry Connect will be made available only on Palm's Treo 650, and is to roll out in early 2006.

The deal, which will operate under RIM's BlackBerry Connect licensing program, is designed to expand Palm's subscriber base, according to Page Murray, Palm's vice president of marketing.

It now gives the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Palm wireless e-mail access to RIM's BlackBerry enterprise servers and will allow corporate e-mail users of Microsoft Exchange and Lotus to access corporate e-mail with the device.

"From a business perspective this opens a tremendous vista of opportunities for us to reach 55,000 RIM servers deployed to enterprises to show users just how great Treo is," Murray said.

Murray said carriers, pricing and distribution deals will be announced at a later date.

The Treo 650 combines a mobile phone with email, an organizer, messaging and Web access. The service also now will include wireless calendar synchronization, remote address access to corporate e-mail directories and triple encryption for secure transmission, said Murray.

Palm says it expects to boost sales of its Treo by being able to pitch the device to the more than 50,000 companies and organizations around the world that use BlackBerry software, while RIM is hoping the move boosts the Connect program.