Research In Motion is eyeing a pre-Christmas date for the local launch
of the BlackBerry Pearl, its first shift away from the enterprise
market into the broader personal digital assistant (PDA) and smartphone
Daniel Hicks, carrier relationship and sales manager for
RIM Australia, said that while no dates had been finalised, the company
was keen to launch the device, which incorporates a 1.3 megapixel
digital camera, music playback and memory card slot, into the local
"We are in discussion with several carriers and we are looking at a
pre-Christmas launch in the Asia-Pacific region," he said during a
presentation at the Influence 2006 Forum in the Hunter Valley. The
device goes on sale in US markets soon. Locally, RIM has launched
BlackBerry models in conjunction with Optus, Telstra and Vodafone.
Within the enterprise market, RIM wants to change the perception that
its devices are primarily useful for push email, Hicks said.
One step in that plan will be the release of devices that don't include
an email client, but allow access to other BlackBerry-enabled business
applications such as customer relationship management or sales tracking.
Adding extra features may also allow RIM to remain competitive with
rival devices running the Windows Mobile or Symbian operating system,
many of which have long sported similar multimedia extensions.
Whether business customers are clamouring for such features or are
quite content with simple email access remains to be seen. According to
Gartner, BlackBerry is the top-ranked PDA brand in the world,
accounting for over 21 percent of global sales in 2005.