BlackBerry for Business blog debuts

New blog targeted at RIM's coveted business base

Research in Motion launched a BlackBerry for Business blog Friday, bearing a post from its lead contributor simply named "Roger," who has been a RIM marketing employee since 2001.

The blog will be devoted to events, research and product information from a business perspective, Roger said in an introductory posting. The blog also includes older posts from RIM's Inside BlackBerry Blog.

One reprised March blog refers to seminars last spring by independent analyst Maribel Lopez. The seminars were designed to help IT managers "embrace the reality" that employees are using their own smartphones for work. Another post reprised from June is "Merging work and play with the BlackBerry Platform."

Roger said there will be other regular blog contributors from RIM's marketing team who will look at specific industries using BlackBerry devices and systems, including health care, professional services, finance, and field services.

RIM has long had a leadership role with enterprise IT shops, especially those in North America, which have trusted BlackBerry devices and the security of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).

However, since the emergence of the popular iPhone three years ago, RIM has also sought ways to sell devices and services to consumers , including professionals who work in small businesses without access to a BES.

RIM's consumer effort included releasing devices with touchscreens such as the recent Torch smartphone, which provides a physical keyboard with a touchscreen. RIM is also reportedly working on a 7-inch tablet, called the "BlackPad," for release next week that could be a competitor to the iPad .

The consumer effort at RIM has also included a strong marketing effort with TV commercials featuring U2 and other music groups.

The new BlackBerry for Business blog can be seen as one method that RIM is using to hold onto to its valued business customers. There are signs that Android and Apple devices are cutting into RIM's established business base.

IDC recently projected that the BlackBerry, with 18% of the global market for smartphones in 2010, will shrink by 2014, while Android will grow from 16% in 2010 to 25% of the market in 2014.

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