Research in Motion Ltd. is widening the playing field of devices that support its popular wireless e-mail server.
The Waterloo, Ontario, company announced that Motorola Inc. and Siemens AG will support the BlackBerry server on upcoming wireless devices.
Siemens, of Munich, Germany, is the first company to support BlackBerry Built-In, an upgraded version of RIMs BlackBerry Connect program, which RIM launched last week.
The Siemens SK65 is a triband GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) phone designed for mobile enterprise customers.
In addition to always-on e-mail access to BlackBerry Enterprise Server or BlackBerry Web client, the SK65 supports standard e-mail. The phone also lets several people communicate at once via push-to-talk.
The SK65 features a 132-by-176-pixel TFT (thin-film-transistor) 64K color screen, 64MB of internal memory and a folding keyboard. It offers 300 minutes of talk time and 250 hours of standby time, said Siemens officials.
The phone will be available in November.
Meanwhile, Motorola plans BlackBerry connectivity on its feature-packed MPx and MPx20 mobile phones, both of which are on the high end of the Schaumburg, Ill., companys mobile product line.
A BlackBerry Connect solution for each phone will be available for download in the fourth quarter, said RIM officials.
"Were committed to using the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, and well happily use any hardware device that works with it," said John Halamka, CIO of CareGroup Healthcare System, a Boston-area hospital group. The hospital uses RIMs own BlackBerry 7810 devices, but Halamka said he plans to order and test a few of the Motorola phones.
Nokia Corp. is expected to launch BlackBerry-enabled phones by years end. Last month, Nokia entered into a patent-licensing agreement with holding company NTP Inc. that includes the five patents under litigation between RIM and NTP, of Arlington, Va. Nokia needed to take that step to go forward with U.S. sales of a version of its 6820 phone that can connect to the BlackBerry e-mail server, Nokia officials said.
By years end, PalmOne Inc. is expected to launch a version of its Treo Smartphone that can connect to BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Sprint Corp. is expected to offer it.
Meanwhile, RIM has been successful in selling its own devices. The companys second-quarter shipments increased 289 percent over the same quarter last year, making RIM largely responsible for the 12 percent increase in PDA sales year over year, according to analysts at Gartner Inc., in San Jose, Calif.