Research In Motion released a new WebKit-based browser, an attempt to beat back criticism that the company's BlackBerry smartphones have fallen behind the iPhone and phones running on Google's Android platform.
During his keynote address at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said the company expects the new browser to attract a wider audience to the BlackBerry platform. Lazaridis said the browser renders well and uses carriers' networks more efficiently. He did not say when the new browser would be available.
There have been rumblings for months that RIM would reveal a new browser to keep up with its smartphone competitors. The company filed patents aiming to accelerate network browsing speeds on BlackBerry devices, according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal. And last year RIM acquired WebKit solutions developer Torch Mobile (WebKit powers mobile browsers on numerous mobile platforms, including the iPhone and Android).
Lazaridis also expounded on the company's mobile application philosophy, and talked about what he called "Super Apps." These applications are contextual and are integrated into core phone functions that BlackBerry users access all of the time, such as their email inbox. He demonstrated how users can view and send Twitter tweets from their inbox.
RIM also unveiled a new product, called BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express, essentially giving its Enterprise Server software away for free to corporations. The service, which will be available next month, is for small and medium-sized business customers and companies that want to let employees use their own phones for corporate email.
- see this release
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this PCMag.com article
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