Gunning for the executive’s wallet
Vendors square up to capture mindshare
THE PINNACLE OF TELECOMS and technology exhibitions is when vendors parade their wares to attract the high-end of the corporate market. And the recent 3GSM congress held in Barcelona was no exception.
Beyond doubt, the corporate market’s growing acceptance of push-based mobile enterprise applications has created a market for vendors such as research in motion (RIM), Nokia and Motorola to ply their trade. Arguably, RIM’s flagship Blackberry has stepped up to the plate to emerge in the corporate field as the preferred device for mobile email solutions. Monica Bassa, an analyst at research house Gartner, perhaps best sums up Blackberry’s iconic status by saying that it’s still perceived in developed markets as the aspirational brand that no self-respecting middle executive would want to be seen without.
RIM stole the show at the just ended 3GSM congress to announce its latest addition to the Blackberry family. As a follow-up to the success of its Pearl device, the group unveiled the Blackberry 8800. “Not only does the 8800 boast enhanced features, it’s kind of a grownup version of the old one,” says James Hart, RIM’s MD in charge of Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA). True to Hart’s description, the 8800 has retained some features of the previous device such as a qwerty keyboard. But the new killer features likely to catch the eye of a travelling executive include a built-in global positioning system (GPS), which uses Blackberry, maps for navigation and location-based services and a microSD expandable memory card slot. “Let’s simply put it this way, it’s a full house gadget fit for a wired executive,” says Hart.
Motorola duly responded to RIM’s latest offering by announcing the expansion of its Q range with the availability of Moto Q 9 and Moto Q GSM. “Don’t ask me if the Moto Q 9 and Q GSM are better than the Blackberry 8800 because my answer will be obvious,” chuckles Bilal Saleh, Motorola’s director in charge of application services for EMEA. The Q 9 runs on the recently announced Micro- soft Windows Mobile 6 platform and uses Motorola’s mobile messaging technology. The phone features a side-load removable microSD port in addition to its 256Mb of on-board memory as well as USB 2.0 for PC connectivity. Among its features, the Q GSM boasts GPRS and EDGE, and like its sibling, runs on Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.
Nokia, which despite being the world’s largest handset manufacturer, has largely lurked in the shadow of RIM’s Blackberry in the Smartphone wars, responded to the imminent arrival of RIM’s latest offering by launching a series of devices. They include the E61i, a slimmer version of its predecessor, but slightly better in that it boasts improved email capability. Then there is the E65, a slider phone with a slim profile that’s intended for leisure as well as the workplace and the E90, the replacement for the legendary Nokia communicators.
Fit for a wired executive. The New Blackberry 8800