Nokia looks to plug email gap with Lotus Notes

Nokia has finally taken a step to filling an increasingly important gap in its portfolio - that of the serious business smartphone, the Financial Times tech blog reports.

Nokia and IBM have announced an agreement that will enable Nokia smartphones including more than 80 million Nokia S60 devices already in use, to access IBM Lotus Notes corporate email from next month.

In September Nokia signed an agreement with Microsoft to allow its smartphones to work with Microsoft Exchange Servers and Outlook email systems.

Nokia now claims that almost 90% of corporate inboxes can now be accessed from Nokia devices without third party middleware or additional investment, the blog says.

It adds that in the third quarter Nokia sold 1.1 million of its new full mini-Qwerty keyboard E71 phones, outselling RIM's Blackberry Bold by about 5:1. Since then, the Bold has become available in many more markets, including the US.

Apple is also striving to sell its iPhone into the business sector.

Nokia's partnership with IBM and Microsoft have put it in a much stronger position to face the increasingly fierce competition.