Research in Motion and Cingular today introduced BlackBerry Connect to the United States on the Nokia 9300 smartphone. All I have to say is, “It’s about Time!” Cingular Wireless is the first U. S. carrier to offer BlackBerry wireless services on third-party handsets.
I am not really sure why it took so long for BlackBerry Connect to come to the U.S. but now that it is here, I am sure that the other carriers will be soon to follow. If, and more likely, when BlackBerry Connect catches on here in the U. S., the overall business model for BlackBerry may start to morph. Currently RIM makes two thirds of it’s revenue off of BlackBerry unit sales. Now that you can essentially get BlackBerry service on many devices, the model may change from hardware vendor first and service provider second, to the visa versa.
I am not business trends expert but I would be willing to bet that there are much higher margins in BlackBerry service as compared to unit sales. The BlackBerry brand has cult appeal second only to the iPod. If RIM plays their cards right, they can still sell the BlackBerry handheld devices like mad, and ingrain BES into corporate America even more so than it already is by offering front running corporate email to a mobile workforce on any, or at least many, hardware platforms.