RIM's New BlackBerry Could Spur New Mobile Applications


Available Nov. 21 through Cingular Wireless, the BlackBerry 8700c from Research In Motion (RIM) offers substantial improvements in memory, voice quality, network speed and processing power, solution providers said.

"The processor improvement has been long overdue, because the 386-based BlackBerry processor has a tough time with any substantial application," said David Bean, president of eAccess Solutions, a BlackBerry solution provider in Palatine, Ill.

The more powerful processor will foster development of more applications for workers in the field, said John Heinz, president of ATSG, an Owings Mills, Md.-based solution provider. For example, a doctor could use RIM's new BlackBerry to access a subscription-based drug interaction guide to consult while in the field or in emergency situations, Heinz said.

The BlackBerry 8700c operates on Cingular's EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) network, which is not as fast as 3G, but does represent an upgrade from the slower GPRS networks that most BlackBerry devices use.

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"EDGE enables more bandwidth-intensive applications such as ERP and CRM, where there is a lot of data being pushed down to the device," Bean said.

One of the problems with keyboard-based mobiles has been their lackluster telephone capability, Bean said. That's why he's impressed with the new BlackBerry's built-in speakerphone and improved voice quality. "This device is really going to help us converge enterprise customers into one device for voice and data."

Although the technological improvements that come with the BlackBerry 8700c will improve the user experience, Surya Jayaweera, CEO of Wolfetech Development, a BlackBerry solution provider in Claremont, Calif., doesn't believe that technology is what's driving mobile application development. "What is changing is that as more and more people lower down on the corporate pyramid get BlackBerries, it becomes more advantageous for us to create wireless applications," Jayaweera said.