Things have actually been very quiet recently with wireless push firms other than RIM. Microsoft made that one big splash where they announced Microsoft Exchange SP2 would come with free push email when used with Windows Mobile 5.0. Some big handhelds that are slated to come with Windows Mobile 5.0 are the new Motorola â€˜Qâ€™ and the Palm Treo 700w. This could be the biggest threat to RIMâ€™s monopoly on push-email but until SP2 is released and is regularly used in the real-world, weâ€™ll just have to wait and see.
Good Technology based out of Santa-Clara is currently RIMâ€™s main threat in the push-email market. They have carved out a nice niche in the Palm Treo world but with the announcements of Blackberry Connect and Windows Mobile 5.0 for the Treo, we really have to wonder how Good can sustain their market. They currently have a customer base of 7,000 corporations which compared to RIM is just a small fraction. And with the news of layoffs of 80% or 175 of their direct sales team things do seem rocky for Goodâ€™s future.
Other small firms have decided they canâ€™t compete alone so many have consolidated. Commtag was acquired by Smartner and Psion Software was swallowed by Visto. Then Seven acquired Smartner. Seven can claim to have 73 operators across 43 countries as customers while Visto lays claim to only 15 operators but one of those is Vodafone. Visto has also raised the number of supported devices from 32 to 60 in less than six months. To compare, RIM has a total of 150 carriers worldwide and in the last quarter alone, they have added 25. Visto and Seven canâ€™t compete with the Blackberry brand so they are offering â€œwhite-labelâ€ push email, which is the right idea but it doesnâ€™t seem too popular. The Blackberry brand has become so synonymous with wireless email, that customers and enterprises are not really looking at other email solutions.
Our prediction, if we had to make one is that 2 years from now it will be RIM versus Microsoft. Good and all the other push email firms will either be gone or struggling to keep afloat.