January 24, 2008 / 12:30 AM / 11 years ago

RIM to offer Lotus Connections on BlackBerry

A Research in Motion Blackberry is shown in Toronto, October 26, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd plans to offer IBM’s Lotus Connections business networking software as a free download later this year, the company said on Wednesday.

The software lets users collaborate on projects with colleagues via the BlackBerry handset, as well as find and get in touch with internal experts and easily share information.

Last October, RIM announced it was rolling out Facebook software designed especially for its smartphones. It was part of the Waterloo, Ontario-based company’s push to expand its offering of so-called “lifestyle applications” such as games and multimedia to lure more retail users to the traditionally business-focused BlackBerry.

The company is competing for retail users with Apple Inc’s answer to the BlackBerry, the iPhone. However, the bulk of its customer base continues to be comprised of executives, politicians, lawyers and other professionals.

RIM shares fell C$6.44, or 7 percent, to C$86.84 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The descent followed Apple’s trajectory on Wednesday, as it sold off on a weaker than expected profit forecast and disappointing holiday shipments of its iPod music player.

($1=$1.03 Canadian)

Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; Editing by Peter Galloway

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