Given our collective obsession with all things Apple, many of us have overlooked a tiny news announcement by Yahoo and Research In Motion, that could have long term ramifications for maker of super-addictive Blackberry device.
BlackBerry users will be able to experience real-time delivery of e-mail messages sent to their Yahoo! Mail accounts and enhanced wireless synchronization of sent and deleted items as well as read/unread message status, providing users with more flexibility to manage their email accounts while on the go. Future development plans will also allow Yahoo! users to wirelessly import, modify and synchronize their Yahoo! Address Book and Yahoo! Calendar entries using their BlackBerry devices.
Even though not all service providers are supporting this service, and not all features are available as yet, Yahoo’s planned feature set is enough to trump the GoogleBerry offerings.
On the flip side, this move is an important, and a critical move for RIM. Why? Because it takes Blackberry mainstream. So far only the users of email systems based on Microsoft Exchange & Lotus Notes/Domino have been able to sign-on for the Blackberry service. This is expensive proposition, costing between $10-t0-$30 a month, depending on your needs. (I use hosted solution from TheMessegeCenter and it sets me back about $20 a month including BES. And the support is pretty darn good.)
Yahoo can help save some of those dollars. For carriers, this could mean more folks signing up for their $50 a month crackberry service. Something tells me that RIM is going to integrate more of these popular mail-offerings. I would love to see dot.mac integration, but that’s wishful thinking on my part!
Update: While you can check your wireless email from many different POP3/IMAP services using the Blackberry Internet Service, the wireless syncing of email/calendar etc still is only possible with ME/LN and lately Novell Groupwise.