Recently I heard someone say that they sure wished they could get email on their Treo 700w like they were able to with their BlackBerry and it got me to thinking about BlackBerry Connect and when it might be released here in the U.S.

Now the the NTP patent dispute is over, Research in Motion’s partners don’t have to worry about being sued if they allow their devices to be connected to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server so my guess is that we will see BlackBerry Connect clients, at least for the Treo, sooner rather than later.

The question that I have is when finally released, Will BlackBerry Connect hurt BlackBerry device sales?

Many organizations tightly control which BlackBerry devices their employees use, however, there are a lot of companies out their don’t care what device you use so long as they can hook it up to the corporate BES. In fact, a lot of companies require that their employees buy their own BlackBerry devices with their own data plans. Studies have shown that most BlackBerry users are loyal to the mobile email service, not necessarily the device and, in fact, actually find competing handset designs extremely appealing so long as they can get BlackBerry service on them.

If BlackBerry Connect ever becomes widely available on 3rd party handsets, BlackBerry device sales, which is still where Research in Motion makes most of it’s money, could possibly take at hit.
I think this is another good reason RIM should consider a Windows Mobile powered BlackBerry, however, that is for another post.