BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) has announced plans to market security software for Android and iPhone handsets, in what’s being seen as a tacit admission that its battle with rival platforms is a losing one. For the time being, at least.
Set to be available from March 2012, the Mobile Fusion device management software will enable businesses’ IT departments to set and scrutinise rules for passwords and apps for corporate iPhone and Android users.
The feature also allows handsets to be wiped remotely in the event that they are mislaid by the owner, keeping sensitive business information out of the wrong hands.
The move comes amid mounting indications that BlackBerrys’ status as the go-to smartphones for business users is no longer assured in the face of a slew of similarly equipped but better-looking smarties from Apple, HTC and Samsung.
Alan Panezic, Vice President for Enterprise Product Management at RIM, told Reuters: "What our enterprise customers are looking for, and the opportunity for us, is to become the de facto platform.
"We will take full advantage of whatever security capabilities are provided by the core operating system. We're not going to hold that back in any way, shape or form."
BlackBerrys’ popularity with enterprise users traditionally rested principally on the peerless data encryption provision RIM’s servers offer, as well as their email and messaging smarts.