SAN FRANCISCO—So you think Apple’s got apps? Research In Motion (RIM) rolled out a few more of its own yesterday, and RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie was nothing short of bullish on the smartphone market.
Balsillie, a keynote speaker on Day 2 of the CTIA I.T. & Entertainment convention, said the highly anticipated Bold will roll out in early October. “We’re hopeful,” he said, presumably referring to the carrier certification process with AT&T.
No stranger to competition, Balsillie said RIM is not seeing any signs of the smartphone market slowing down. He’s been in the wireless data industry for 20 years and lived through the times when pagers were cool and wireless data wasn’t. He also humorously recalled how it “took 10 years” to shake the pager label after positioning the BlackBerry as an interactive pager.
But what to do with what’s now known as smartphones? Balsillie described a number of applications that are available today and described RIM’s deals with Tivo, MySpace and Slacker, to name a few.
- RIM and TiVo are bringing customized TiVo services to the BlackBerry platform, so BlackBerry users can record shows. Future collaboration will focus on software applications that further simplify mobile access to video content, the companies said in a press release.
- With Slacker, plans are to provide a free Slacker Personal Radio application, exclusively for BlackBerry smartphones, that will enable listeners to hear their favorite Slacker radio stations wherever they go, including when not connected to a wireless network.
- With MySpace, RIM is developing a MySpace Mobile experience customized for the BlackBerry; that application will be available in BlackBerry markets globally. And with Ticketmaster, RIM announced the BlackBerry brand was exclusively designated as the “official smartphone of Ticketmaster,” so BlackBerry users can buy tickets on the go.
- RIM and Microsoft also said they are working to integrate rich Live Search capabilities into the BlackBerry browser and maps.