iPhone gets open source email

Funambol has delivered an open source email client for the new iPhone, and has won new funding for its bid to offer a free alternative to the Blackberry, a Tech World news report said.

Funambol offers a free open source email server which can take the place of a Blackberry service, the report said.

The company has client software for around 850 handsets, including one for the new iPhone using the new iPhone SDK, which syncs PIM information with a variety of email systems including Microsoft Exchange.

The company offers the software free to businesses, and plans to make its money on the Carrier version which is licensed to operators.

'Blackberry only reaches 2% of the market,' said Fabrizio Capobianco, chief executive of Funambol, quoted by Tech World

'Three billion people have SMS, and we'll move them to the next step: mobile email.' Even if users will only pay five euros a month for mobile email, that's a lot of potential revenue for operators that take the Carrier version, he says - and he also proposes that consumers will take free ad-funded email.

The Funambol Community edition has a MySQL-style open source licence, and can be used freely.

'If you are an enterprise, and you have an Exchange mail server, you can download our server, plug into the mail back end, and start pushing email to all users, not just to the CEO who has a Blackberry,' he said. The company does also have a client for Blackberry phones as well, he said.