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The Common Exchange of Technology and Intelligence

Both Research in Motion and Palm bring a lot of experience and expertise to the table. RIM revolutionized the industry by introducing push email so many years ago and it was also around this time that the Palm Pilot was the PDA of choice for the discerning business user.

For some people, the BlackBerry brand has had a very difficult time trying to be recognized as a “cool” handset. iPhone enthusiasts oftentimes scoff at the “clunky” Blackberry OS. It’s not svelte and sleek like what comes out of Cupertino. The BlackBerry Storm was supposed to be a response to the iPhone, but it’s still got a lot of room to grow.


Even though Palm hasn’t experienced very much success with its Treo line as of late, the Sunnyvale, California-based firm really caught everyone by surprise at CES 2009 in Las Vegas with the unveiling of the Palm Pre. Here was a functional device that actually looked good. It was sexy. And that’s the kind of thing that RIM needs to take BlackBerry to the next level. At the same time, Palm can benefit by the established reputation and user base of the BlackBerry.

The Extension of the Palm Pre Line


Palm has already indicated that the Palm Pre will not be the only phone from the company to feature its new webOS. Just as HTC took the TouchFLO interface to a variety of Windows Mobile smartphones, Palm has every intention to produce additional handsets in the near future that (hopefully) capture the same kind of interest as the Pre.

With the new financial and creative backing of Research in Motion, Palm is much better positioned to overcome its current shortcomings and move forward with new and exciting products in the future. More specifically, future Palm Pre phones may feature access to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

Bono Takes Over as Chief Executive Officer

This is perhaps the biggest part of today’s story. Ed Colligan of Palm and Jim Balsillie of BlackBerry will head their respective departments of Research in Motion, but they will both report to a new CEO. The new Chief Executive Officer of Research in Motion will be none other than Bono of U2 fame.

How is this possible? As you may recall, U2 and Apple had a bit of a falling out recently. The band shifted their allegiance to Research in Motion as the primary sponsor of this summer’s tour. Further still, Bono is a partner in Elevation Partners, a venture firm that owns 39% of Palm, Inc.

Given the pre-existing relationship with Palm and the new relationship with RIM, Bono acted as a liaison between the two companies. He was instrumental to the development of the new relationship and both companies agreed that he’d be the right man to run the newly formed company, giving it the star power it needed to take the shine off Apple’s front man, Steve Jobs. It is also very possible that Bono would push toward a Product (RED) version of a BlackBerry-like phone. Product (RED)Berry, anyone?

The appointment of Bono as the new CEO is still pending approval from the board of directors, but the initial response has been overwhelmingly positive. By combining their several years of enterprise-level experience, Palm and Research in Motion (BlackBerry) will certainly be a force in the smartphone market. Look out, Apple. The elephant in the room just got bigger.

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