RIM CEO Balsillie Not too worried about competitors

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Research In Motion’s Blackberry will remain the standard for mobile email in the face of a challenge by Microsoft and Nokia, whose rival email systems aren’t as cheap or secure as they claim, RIM’s CEO said on Monday.

“It’s insecure. And Microsoft and Nokia use about five times more of the network than we do. Network capacity is scarce and battery power is scarce. That’s why operators can price BlackBerry aggressively,” RIM Chief Executive Jim Balsillie said in an interview at the fringes of 3GSM, the world’s largest wireless trade show.

Initial launches by mobile operators indicate that the offering from Microsoft is indeed priced in line with that of BlackBerry, at around $30 a month, despite Microsoft’s initial claims that push, or mobile, email would become virtually free of charge.


“They (the operators) are pricing it pretty much the same,” confirmed Pieter Knook, senior vice president for the mobile and embedded software division at Microsoft.

Microsoft denies, however, that its push email service is insecure, saying it has the same security features of Outlook Web Access used by many of its customers.

Balsillie reiterated that a technical workaround which his company announced late last week will ensure the BlackBerry service continues uninterrupted even if a U.S. court grants an injunction requested by patent holding company NTP Inc. to halt the email service.

“There won’t be an interruption of the service. Our 3.5 million users in the United States won’t have to do a thing. They will continue to receive their emails,” he said.