iPhone challenge spurs on RIM

Blackberry adds “lifestyle” apps as RIM looks to increase its appeal to consumer market

For many, Research in Motion’s Blackberry has been seen simply as a corporate favorite with little appeal beyond email-hungry executives.

Yet the Canadian handset-maker is showing there’s more to it than that – and seems to be succeeding in broadening its consumer appeal.

Worldwide figures for the second quarter of 2008 have revealed that the BlackBerry OS has surpassed Windows Mobile market share for the first time.

RIM captured a 17.4 per cent market share, almost double the 8.9 per cent it registered for the same period last year, while WM took 12 per cent.

And with the 3G Blackberry Bold expected to be released in the US any day now, the prospects for further rises – at least in the near future – are excellent.

RIM success in the ongoing mobile OS market share wars

RIM has been making a great effort to expand the Blackberry’s appeal beyond its traditional corporate base .

It has just announced a partnership with TiVo, initially giving subscribers to the digital video recorder (DVR) service access to program guides and scheduling functionality on their BlackBerry – but promising much more.

If some swift work can be done with the technology then it can’t be long before they are offering TiVo streamed to a BlackBerry.

The partnership announcement from the two companies mentions future collaboration that “will focus on software applications that further simplify mobile access to video content”.

RIM has also announced new apps for the BlackBerry lineup, including Slacker Radio, MySpace and Microsoft Live Search.

Ticketmaster has also partnered with RIM to bring mobile ticket purchasing to the BlackBerry, allowing the smartphone users to browse, search, and purchase tickets to live entertainment while on the go.

The launch of the 3G iPhone and threat of Apple eying RIM’s corporate market may have played a part in this trend towards multimedia functions like audio and video content.

But whatever the motivation, it appears to be paying off.

Subscribe to our Newsletter