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E-M@il A-Go-Go


E-MAIL ON THE GO HAS BEEN

a relatively untapped market, but the availability of new data-capable mobile devices and convenient applications for the enterprise may change that.

The IDC envisions a competitive market of vendors battling for dominance within the mobile enterprise, sparking widespread demand. The analyst firm expects shipments of converged mobile devices to reach 63 million units worldwide by 2010, up from 7.3 million in 2005.


Nokia hopes to bring wireless e-mail to the masses with a$149 price point for the E62.

Accordingly, vendors and applications providers are trying to differentiate themselves in the market. For instance, Research in Motion Ltd. took the wraps off the BlackBerry Pearl during CTIA Wireless IT + Entertainment. Available exclusively via T-Mobile USA Inc. for about $350, the device has its own Web site and is touted as being the smallest, sleekest, most musthave e-mail device around. The quadband gadget comes with digital camera, multimedia capabilities, expandable memory and applications including e-mail, Web browser, text messaging, instant messaging and organizers. For larger corporate and government organizations, the BlackBerry Pearl also works with BlackBerry Enterprise Server to provide central management, email, address book and calendar sync, and advanced security.


Motorola Q will be available on the Sprint Nextel network in the first quarter of 2007.

Differentiating itself on voice call quality as well as being cool, the ultra-thin EV-DO device and so-called BlackBerry killer known as the Motorola Q will be out on the Sprint Nextel network in the first quarter of 2007 (Verizon Wireless has had exclusivity on the device since launch). With a list price of $399, the MotoQ is sleek, about the width of a pen, and comes with an intuitive e-mail sync program.

On the other end of the price spectrum, Nokia unveiled the E62 handset at CTIA, retailing for $149. The device, which runs the Symbian OS, is built to deliver e-mail, Nokia said. Support for popular e-mail platforms from BlackBerry, Microsoft Corp., Good Mobile and others are built into the application stack, along with native support for Microsoft Office documents and PDFs. The cost alone may be a differentiator, especially for smaller businesses. Similar devices often cost closer to $300.


BlackBerrys latest smartphone

The E62 lacks the 3G and Wi-Fi support the other recent E series handsets offer, a tradeoff for the low price tag, Nokia says. But the battery life offers around five hours of talk time, and the E62 contains an intuitive user interface, developed by Nokia based on open standards, that allows users to access full Web pages, not just WAP sites, and discover content in a way thats more akin to PC-based Web surfing and My Applications folders than existing WAP portals. It also will support any of the thousands of third-party applications that have been developed for the Symbian OS.

Because of these features, plus the capability to store 25 music downloads, a big 16-million-color screen and a QWERTY keyboard, Nokia said they expect the E62 to stand out and appeal to an audience far beyond the enterprise.

Its great for business, but will also appeal to the average user, at a price point they can actually afford, says Nokia spokeswoman Laurie Armstrong. No longer is mobile e-mail a difficult-to-configure, expensive proposition for the boardroom set, she adds that This could make mobile e-mail mass-market.

The device will be offered exclusively through Cingular Wireless until the end of the year, when the exclusivity lifts.

Meanwhile, device-agnostic applications give dealers a wide choice of form factors to accommodate a wide range of customers and price thresholds. For instance, eAgency Inc. has launched Rover for a range of BlackBerry, Microsoft Pocket PC and Treo devices. Rover retrieves e-mail from any account and syncs up contacts, calendar items and tasks over the air to wireless devices and the Rover Web portal. The application was launched as part of Nice Office, information management software designed for small businesses. The app is packaged for distribution via wireless dealers and retail stores to consumers and small businesses.

Now anyone can enjoy the freedom of e-mail anywhere, along with personal information management sync, without the need for a corporate server, explains Robert Lotter, CEO of Nice Office. The user chooses where they want to do business, either on the device or on the Web.

Rover enables users to send and receive e-mails; schedule appointments and coordinate meetings; store contact information including address, phone, fax, e-mail and up to 60 custom fields; create and manage daily activities; and automatically record journal records of phone calls and e-mails, without the need for cradling or connecting with a desktop application.

Rover can also be enhanced with the Nice Office solution, which adds additional customer relationship management capabilities, including sales funnels, reporting and XML Web services.

Links
Cingular Wireless www.cingularwireless.com
CTIA www.ctia.org
eAgency Inc. www.niceoffice.com
IDC www.idc.com
Microsoft Corp. www.microsoft.com
Motorola Inc. www.motorola.com
Nokia www.nokia.com
Research in Motion Ltd. www.blackberry.com
Sprint-Nextel www.sprint.com
T-Mobile USA Inc. www.t-mobile.com
Verizon Wireless www.verizonwireless.com

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