Palm looks set to announce the availability
of RIM's BlackBerry Connect (BBC) push-e-mail and calendar
software to Australian users of the Palm Treo 650
In a media invitation to Palm's "first in Australia" launch
briefing to be held on Thursday April 27, Palm says it "will be
launching a significant new solution for the Treo, which promises
to provide users with…an even more powerful and compelling
mobile computing solution."
While the invitation did not specifically mention BBC, a
BlackBerry spokesperson told CNET.com.au the briefing would
involve the announcement of a partnership between Palm and
The deal should come as no surprise to followers of the
push-e-mail space, as RIM first announced that it would be
licensing its BBC software to Palm in October 2005, and the pair
-- in cooperation with Singapore operator SingTel -- have since
rolled out BlackBerry-enabled 650 devices in Asia.
While it's currently unknown which Australian
telecommunications company (or companies) Palm will initially
partner with, the fact that it has chosen SingTel for the Asian
market implicates Optus as a highly likely candidate (SingTel is
Optus' parent company).
Previously exclusive to BlackBerry handsets, BBC enables users
to receive e-mails as they reach their e-mail server -- much like
an SMS text message -- as opposed to forcing them to log into the
server in order to collect new messages. It also allows for
calendar synchronisation. Naturally, this makes the service a
boon for mobile professionals who need to remain connected to
their office at all times, but the BlackBerry has more recently
been gaining mindshare amongst non-business consumers as
The partnership with RIM is unique in that it's Palm's first
chance to give Treo customers automatic synchronisation with
Palm has not yet decided to include BBC on Windows-based Palm
devices, but this shouldn't be ruled out as RIM is currently working on a Windows Mobile client. It may be too late, however, as CNET.com.au sister site, CNET News.com, recently reported that
Microsoft's new push-email software "will soon be available on Palm's site for users to download and install on their Treo 700w [not yet available in Australia], Palm's first product to use Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system."
CNET News.com's Michael Singer contributed to this report.