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BlackBerry maker RIM launches platform to sync rival iphones, android smartphones

BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is a mobile device management solution for companies who want to sync iPhones, iPads or Android gadgets.

BT Online Bureau | April 4, 2012 | Updated 13:08 IST

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) has launched a new software platform - BlackBerry Mobile Fusion - that lets businesses manage smartphones made by rivals.

Fusion has been launched as a "next-generation mobile device management solution" for companies faced with a growing trend of employees wanting to use their iPhones, iPads or competing Android gadgets for work.

The software is available as a free download but RIM will charge companies a fees based on number of devices being managed.

"Organisations face pressure to allow employees to bring their own devices into the workplace," said RIM vice president of enterprise product management Alan Panezic. "For businesses and government, managing a mix of mobile devices on any scale is chaotic."

A strong selling point of the platform is that it would be able to give the Apple or Android mobile devices the same data control and security features that BlackBerry smartphones are popular for.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based firm reported a net loss of $125 million for its fiscal fourth quarter to March 3, compared with a profit of $418 million a year earlier.

That dragged down the full fiscal 2012 profit to $1.16 billion, down sharply from $3.4 billion a year earlier as RIM battled against Apple's iPhones and iPads and an onslaught of Android-powered devices.

The results provided a rocky start for chief operating officer Thorsten Heins, who was named president and chief executive after the company's co-chiefs stepped down in the face of investor pressure for a change.

The company has suffered from the costly delay in launching BlackBerry 10, which will use the new QNX operating system, and the commercial failure of the PlayBook tablet computer.

With inputs from PTI

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