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Research In Motion

Maker of the popular BlackBerry devices, Research In Motion (RIM), has so far delighted over 3 million subscribers worldwide with e-mail on the go.RIM was founded in 1984 by President and Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis while he was still in university, but the BlackBerry only gained traction in the last few years as consumers' appetite for wireless communication increased.

Maker of the popular BlackBerry devices, Research In Motion (RIM), has so far delighted over 3 million subscribers worldwide with e-mail on the go.

RIM was founded in 1984 by President and Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis while he was still in university, but the BlackBerry only gained traction in the last few years as consumers' appetite for wireless communication increased.

RIM's success has attracted new market players, all eager for a piece of the pie. In May, Microsoft introduced a new software module with its Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system, which enables enterprises to push out e-mail messages to an employee's Windows Mobile-enabled device as soon as they arrive in the company's mail server.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company has also had to battle a slew of patent suits, including one with NTP, which holds patents that determine how e-mail is sent over wireless networks to devices with mobile computer processors.

Despite the drain on its resources brought about by the legal battles, RIM recorded revenue growth of 127 percent over the last fiscal year, from US$594.6 million in 2004 to about US$1.4 billion in 2005. Net profit also jumped over 310 percent to US$213.4 million in 2005.

If RIM is bothered by the competition or legal tussles, it is not showing it. The company continues to orchestrate the BlackBerry movement, announcing in September a tie-up with Intel to use its chips to increase the computing power in its new BlackBerry devices. The new models are expected to be available by the end of 2005. RIM will also partner Palm to avail push e-mail and calendaring functions to Treo users starting next year.