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

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.

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