Israel’s Emblaze Ltd. launched a service on Wednesday that allows cellular phone, Palm Pilot and Pocket PC users to receive their e-mails for free, in similar fashion to a Blackberry. The service is aimed at “executives that do not have or cannot afford a Blackberry, students, moms and dads, (and) friends”, the Israeli company says on the website for its new Emoze.com service.
This mass audience is different from the one targeted by Research In Motion’s Blackberry email device, which costs several tens of dollars a month and is used primarily by corporate managers.
“Blackberry is a phenomenal company, and they have a niche — executives,” said Eli Reifman, chief executive of Emblaze. “Our product is not limited to the specific devices of a Blackberry. It’s much more flexible and it’s free.”
The service is currently limited to a few cellular phone models from Nokia, Samsung and Motorola cellular phone models and all Microsoft Pocket PC devices. Reifman said he expected more than 80 percent of phones as well as Palm Pilots to be supported within three months.
Emblaze also expects to be able to forward corporate email from Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange in a few months.
“Today, there are a billion mobile phone users but only 10 million of them have wireless e-mail,” Reifman told Reuters. “We believe that mobile e-mail should be a commodity just like voice.”