RIM unveils spate of consumer application deals

Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:41pm EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - A day after announcing a flip-phone version of its popular BlackBerry Pearl, Research In Motion unveiled a spate of consumer-related partnerships on Thursday, continuing its push to capture mainstream customers.

RIM said it would partner with Ticketmaster to let BlackBerry users search, browse and buy tickets to entertainment and sporting events.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said it was also getting together with TiVo to let BlackBerry users schedule television recordings from their smartphones.

Another deal, with Microsoft Corp, will see the software giant's Live Search capabilities integrated into the BlackBerry's browser and maps.

And RIM announced a deal with social-networking Web site MySpace to develop a mobile application customized for the BlackBerry. The pact was similar to a deal between RIM and social networking site Facebook announced last year.

RIM also unveiled an agreement with Slacker Inc to provide a free radio application for the BlackBerry. The application will let users listen to Slacker's radio stations even when not connected to a wireless network.

All the announcements made on Thursday were targeted at developing a market much broader than RIM's mainstay of business executives and other professionals.

The company has been seeking to expand its reach among retail consumers in a bid to diversify and spread the appeal of the BlackBerry.

The deals also came as CNBC television reported that RIM would launch its high-end BlackBerry Bold handset in the United States in October. The device, aimed at the company's main base of business users, is already available from a number of carriers around the world.

(Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Peter Galloway)

 
<p>A BlackBerry Pearl smartphone is seen in an illustration released to Reuters by Brodeur Partners September 10, 2008. REUTERS/Brodeur Partners/Handout</p>