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Should we welcome Blackberry back to S60?

January 20, 2009

Should we welcome Blackberry back to S60?

Article from Reuters

RIM (RIM.TO)(RIMM.O) created the market for corporate mobile email and its dominant position has protected it from Nokia’s attempts to crack the market in recent years.

However, “Clearly, things are heading towards the consumer market and that’s where Nokia has its strength,” Tom Furlong, head of Nokia’s messaging services, told Reuters.

RIM has lately focused on developing its consumer offering.

Many of you are aware of Nokia’s decision to drop support for BlackBerry connect on their E-Series devices beginning with the Nokia E71 & E66, and now the E63. This, initially caused ripples in the S60 community, especially those that worked for corporations that allowed for BlackBerry Connect devices to be used on work corporate BES servers/services. This didn’t pose too much of a problem for those who’s corporate email infrastructure used MS Exchange as Nokia did have free software & agreement licence for Mail for Exchange product.

Nokia decided shortly after denouncing internal corporate messaging infrastructure support (Nokia IntelliSync Mobility Suite) and BlackBerry Connect support that they’d be focusing on the lucrative consumer market.

“With the Nokia messaging service, we are going after consumers, we are not going head-to-head with enterprise e-mail. We are trying to put mobile email to the masses, masses of people around the globe,” he said.

“The service is up, people are utilising it, we are getting good traction and good follow up,” Furlong said, adding the company expects to announce its first revenue-sharing agreements with operators for the messaging service within few months.

Since December 2008, Nokia’s focus on the corporate messaging collaboration service has taken great strides that the S60 community is beginning to see the benefits of; especially when it comes down to the bottom dollar in the this age of slumping markets and low finances.


Nokia dropped development of its own corporate email product last year, choosing to partner with Microsoft (MSFT.O) and IBM (IBM.N) instead while focusing on developing phones for business users to better challenge RIM.

Nokia says the two deals enable it to mobilise close to 90 percent of corporate emails without any extra investment from corporations.

“I think that probably the dominant theme in 2009 in enterprises is going to be — do we have to be spending that much money on that service,” Furlong said.

I’ve already blogged about IBM Lotus Traveler, and so far a few reports on the web by

The other factor that was key to dropping the Blackberry platform altogether was the availability of a much less expensive alternative that still provides the essential “Blackberryesque” features of push email integration with Lotus Domino. I speak of course of Lotus Traveler, which this week was released along with Notes/Domino 8.5. Version 8.5 of Traveler marks a major milestone in the competitive landscape for push email, as it extends its reach to cover millions of Symbian smartphones (aka Nokia S60 based devices) and will put tremendous pressure on RIM considering Traveler is a free add-on to Domino.

The Blackberry TCO gets even more expensive when you want to hook it up to Domino because of the Blackberry Enterprise Server costs. If you do need to go with Blackberry and want to at least avoid the hassle of setting up and maintaining your BES, you might consider the Shared BES offering from Prominic, the wonderful people who host my Domino servers for mail and apps. Prices are inclusive of licensing and start at $150 for setup + $30/month per device (1-2 devices) and drops to as low as $20/month for 11+ devices. They also offer dedicated BES. About $400 per month, plus $10/month/device.

For me [these costs would top $500 in the first year alone, which in addition to AT&T’s extra charges make the $400 price tag of my unlocked Nokia look pretty reasonable. Of course, you do have to install Traveler somewhere, and it only runs on Windows (Linux Please!). I’ll have to check with the Prominic guys to see if they might offer a “Shared Traveler Server” at some point, since my own hosted servers run on Linux. Right now I’m using a spare machine in my home office to serve as the Traveler server. Any way you slice it the expense compares favorably to the Blackberry/BES solution.

As you can see the costs are getting to be pretty favorable from the corporate perspective, and even more so from an end users perspective considering most corporations allow for OWA (Exchange) or iNotes (Domino Web access) and begin to heavily offload the costs of mobile email & collaboration to their employess [incl device costs, data plan costs – corporate price plans still in place, and device upgrade costs]. When end users consider that the Nokia E71, E66, and E63 allow them to keep their work and personal lives separate yet contained and manageable on 1 single device, and the plethora of applications available to them – true productivity applications then its going to be a better cost to implementation and less cost to support the RIM BlackBerry infrastructure and solution.

Fear not for those of you that just ‘must have BlackBerry Connect’ as a solution to your S60 devices.

When focusing on partnering with Microsoft and IBM for corporate mobile email, Nokia last year dropped support for the Blackberry email service, but Furlong said Nokia users would in future be able to use the service again.

“We are in the interim period of time when we have dropped support ourselves, and Blackberry is readying support for their service on Nokia devices,” he said.

When it’ll be available is unclear at the present time, as we’ll have to wait for an official announcement from RIM to collaborate this news.

Interview comes courtesy of Tarmo Virki, European technology correspondent, Reuters.

Lotus Traveler on E71 insights come courtesy of

Categories: Microsoft
  1. Anonymous
    January 27, 2009 at 3:52 AM

    Hey its Snowy101 from symbian-freak.
    Loved the article, even though i dont use any corporate email solutions. It did bring to me one perspective i did not even imagine its kind of impact. RIM entering Nokia turf, and S60 allow it. Got me thinking.

    Heres another view of things concerning nokia and RIM. With nokia its a trend if they cut of something they usually give full details, but in other cases if they have other plans, they stay quit. Proven in the case for Blackberry Connect.
    It makes sense to me, if in corporate position to make such a move of canceling blackberry connect on a short term period.

    Here is why. It seems it was required of Nokia to go ahead and cut of BBconnect for political reasons and be able to establish relations with IBM & Microsoft.

    Hmm ok, but i see nokia very smart and play good games behind the stage.

    Think of it, a while back there was a patent case with Nokia & RIM and it quietly faded with undisclosed details.
    A couple of months pass and now this news from RIM comes out.

    Could it have been Nokia and RIM playing smart politics in the background???
    A wheel & Deal i would say ;).


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