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Nokia calls up RIM, again

Pivotal role for email gateway

Nokia has again called on Research in Motion to beef up its enterprise credibility, inking a deal with the Canadian company to bundle the latter's Blackberry Connect software on its Nokia 9500 communicator. The deal also extends to other Series 80 devices. Nokia already offers Blackberry Connect on 6820 phones in Europe, although legal issues have delayed a similar bundle being introduced in the United States.

As yet, the 9500 Communicator is the only publicly-announced phone that runs on the updated Series 80 platform. Nokia's previous roadmap deprecated Series 80 platform - which was specifically designed for its 9000 series communicators - with a larger-screen, pen input specification called Series 90. But with the cancellation of the first Hildon communicator and the deprecation of the Nokia 7700 Series 90 media phone, the old platform has been revived, this time round, as 'Version Two'. The screen size remains the same, there's no support for pen input, but the number of supported colors has increased.

Blackberry Connect patches a significant weakness of Symbian devices, offering a far tighter and slicker email application than any of the smartphones provide out of the box. That's partly down to RIM's ability to bypass GPRS latencies by bundling headers or emails to the client, so the long delays receiving and updating the inbox aren't an issue. Anecdotally, at least, Blackberry owners may be the happiest technology users in the world.

Sony Ericsson gave RIM a vote of confidence by announcing that Connect would be one of several enterprise email offerings bundled with the P910 smartphone. Lawsuits in Motion needs a thriving software licensing business in case the NTP lawsuits go against it. The threat of an injunction preventing RIM from selling hardware continues to hang over the company. ®

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