RIM plans to open its network services to iPhones, Android
Research In Motion unveils new operating system called BBX for BlackBerry devices
Published Tuesday, November 29, 2011 12:31PM EST
TORONTO - Shares of Research In Motion were up 7.6 per cent on Tuesday near midday after the BlackBerry-maker unveiled plans to offer software to companies and governments that would open up its secure network to iPhones and other mobile devices.
The service, named BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, will be available in March after a test run with some of its business customers, RIM said Tuesday.
The move is intended to help RIM encourage its corporate customers to stick with its services, even if they gravitate away from the BlackBerry smartphone itself.
Shares in RIM jumped $1.29 to $18.30 in on the Toronto Stock Exchange as investors scooped up the stock, which has taken a severe beating in recent months over skepticism about the company's future.
RIM said the network will "make it easier for our business and government customers to manage the diversity of devices in their operations today," said RIM vice-president Alan Panezic.
"It provides the necessary management capabilities to allow IT departments to confidently oversee the use of both company-owned and employee-owned mobile devices within their organizations."
The Waterloo, Ont., tech company has been losing consumer market share to Apple and Android devices and although it's still dominant in workplaces, its competitors are making inroads there as well.
Some corporate clients have cut costs by allowing employees to use their personal phones for business purposes, and that has meant the introduction of more consumer-oriented devices like the iPhone into some workplaces.
If RIM can convince corporate clients that its BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is a viable option, even when they're using different smartphones, it will ensure a steady revenue stream that would have otherwise been lost.