Canadian smartphone maker RIM [NASDAQ: RIMM] is reportedly expanding its BlackBerry Internet Service in preparation for its next generation of BlackBerry devices, which will require a more feature-rich Internet experience than previous generations of the device. The most salient upgrade is support for HTML emails, a long-awaited revision that many users have been asking for since the first generation of BlackBerrys. The new BIS, which is being dubbed version 2.5, will also include OTA upgrades and calendar improvements as well as a handful of new — though yet unnamed — features.
With the Apple iPhone 3G being released early next month, BlackBerry has a new foe in Apple; the new iPhone’s new features make it more adept as an enterprise device, now that it can support MS Exchange email. Giving their devices HTML email is perhaps small insurance against an Apple coup in the business world, but RIM is probably also banking on their new devices (and UI updates) having enough wow-power to continue to woo business buyers.CD