Both RIM and Palm introduce new smartphones that offer significant improvements over previous models for connectivity to enterprise applications.
Posted Sep 7, 2006
Both RIM and Palm introduced new wireless devices this week that continue to build out enterprise connectivity with CRM and back end applications. Treo, building on the 700 family, announced the availability of the Palm Treo 700wx smartphone running on the Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket Phone Edition. Not to be outdone, RIM introduced the Blackberry Pearl, the company's latest smartphone that adds consumer functionality like a camera, an MP3 player, and new multimedia capabilities.
The BlackBerry Pearl derives its name not from a Walt Disney film concerning pirates, but rather from the smartphone's new centerline navigation ball that improves navigation of enterprise applications when combined with the new user interface and improved vertical and lateral scrolling. It's also noticeably sleeker, and now comes with quad-band GSM/GPRS and EDGE mobile application support for improved connectivity to the BlackBerry server platforms. Perhaps most importantly, the Pearl is the first BlackBerry device to incorporate expandable memory. End users can expand the standard 64MB Flash memory via a MicroSD card, adding storage for pictures, videos, and data files.
Nick Spencer, an analyst with market research firm Canalys, says the phone will likely increase sales for RIM. "This puts BlackBerry in the millions rather than the hundred thousands." According to Spencer, the Pearl is one of the smallest smartphones with computerlike features, a distinction mobile workers will appreciate.
The Palm Treo 700wx adds support for the new Windows Mobile Messaging and Security Feature Pack, which includes Direct Push Technology, certificate based authentication to Microsoft Exchange data, and automatic wireless updates of email, calendar items, contacts, and tasks. Palm incorporated newer security measures by providing support for Good Mobile Defense, as well as Good Mobile Intranet (from Good Technologies) to give users access to Web enabled enterprise systems, including SFA and CRM applications, according to the company.
"Palm's goal is to give customers more choices to satisfy the growing demands of the mobile work force," says Tim Roper, U.S. region vice president for Palm. "The Palm user experience combined with ready access to Microsoft's as well as Good Technology's world class email solutions gives mobile professionals a true competitive edge. This will help us extend Palm's reach into the enterprise market."
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