RIM BlackBerry holding off competitors

2006 is turning into the year of the QWERTY keyboard, but so far RIM seems to be holding its own as Microsoft, Palm, Nokia, Motorola, and others attempt to take a bite out of the BlackBerry market. It may be too early to make these statements though as many of these devices are just now rolling out and I am sure the competition will heat up in late 2006 and early 2007.

I have posted several times here on RIM BlackBerry competitors (see my Nokia E61, the Treo 750v, and the Motorola Q coverage), but today the chairman and co-chief executive, Jim Balsillie, made statments that RIM isn't seeing much of an effect. Mr. Balsillie stated,

I haven't noticed an impact yet. Those guys are kind of knocking each other. We're a platform that goes beyond that. We're much more of a service solution.
I haven't noticed an impact yet. Those guys are kind of knocking each other. We're a platform that goes beyond that. We're much more of a service solution.

The Motorola Q has been out since July and one reason RIM may not have seen much of an impact yet is that Verizon has very high data rates so consumers probably aren't embracing it as much as Motorola was hoping. Also, Motorola just recently released the AKU2 Messaging and Security Pack update that added Direct Push support to the Q. Also, Nokia and Cingular just announced that the Nokia E62, Nokia E61 sister, would be available soon from Cingular so it is too early to judge that device's success yet. I admit I haven't yet tried a BlackBerry device, although the Pearl is tempting me, but I don't see how a BlackBerry goes beyond something like a Windows Mobile or Nokia smartphone that has integrated cameras, WiFi, push email, native document viewing and editing and so much more functionality. It will be interesting to see how these BlackBerry competitors do in the enterprise market as they become available in larger number towards the end of this year.

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