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Disconnected PDA days are gone: Research in Motion

International wireless solutions manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) believes the days of disconnected PDAs are gone.The makers of Blackberry solution said that users' information is changing too rapidly for disconnected PDAs, (PDAs that do not attach to PCs wirelessly), to catch up.

International wireless solutions manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) believes the days of disconnected PDAs are gone.

The makers of Blackberry solution said that users' information is changing too rapidly for disconnected PDAs, (PDAs that do not attach to PCs wirelessly), to catch up.

RIM Asia Pacific vice president Patrick Spence said "Disconnected PDAs were great in the past but today, people's information is changing too rapidly for that type of model and customers want to synchronise their PDAs with their PCs fast."

Spence said the company has received an "overwhelming" response from the market after opening up its Blackberry products to the consumer sector.

Blackberry is a wireless service that provides access to e-mail, data, Internet, phone and personal information management applications on a wireless handheld. Blackberry subscribers have reached 1.6 million worldwide in August 2004.

"We have a great momentum in the enterprise space. However, we think we have a huge opportunity in the individual consumers' space because Australians tend to be early adaptors of technology," Spence said.

With 30,000 installations around the world, Spence is predictably bullish about the outlook for the Blackberry.

"There's not really any substitute [for Blackberry]. The way we bundle the service makes it a very unique device. There is really no other solution like that, which is why it continues to spot its own space in the market," Spence said.

RIM recently announced the integration of WiFi technology in Blackberry in order to target specific "campus" types of environment where the clients can deploy Blackberry to people for a specific application.

"For instance, warehouse companies like Bunnings can use the device to access inventory and use Voice over IP at the same time. We will still be using the same server but for a different set of usage," Spence said.

He added that Blackberry was currently expanding the number of handsets that are Blackberry solution-enabled. They are also preparing for Blackberry Enterprise server version 4.0 which will allow users to use Blackberry "without any desktop software" and is expected to drive down the total cost of ownership.

RIM has just released the BlackBerry 7100v handset, currently only available with Vodafone.

Optus recently added the Blackberry wireless platform to its suite of business mobile e-mail products. The telecommunications company said it would sell the BlackBerry 7230, the BlackBerry 7730 and the Nokia 6820 to corporate customers with a range of payment plans.