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Friday, September 12, 2008
RIM Unveils New Consumer Application Deals

A day after announcing a flip-phone version of its BlackBerry Pearl, Research In Motion unveiled some new consumer-related partnerships on Thursday, continuing its push to capture mainstream customers.

RIM said it would partner with Ticketmaster to let BlackBerry users search, browse and buy tickets to entertainment and sporting events.

The company also said it was also getting together with TiVo to let BlackBerry users schedule television recordings from their smartphones. Initially, BlackBerry smartphone users will be able to discover what shows are on and schedule television recordings while away from the living room and on the go. Future collaboration between the companies will focus on software applications that further simplify mobile access to video content.

Another deal, with Microsoft, will see the software giant's Live Search capabilities integrated into the BlackBerry's browser and maps. Live Search for BlackBerry Smartphones is expected to be available later this year with support for multiple languages, the company said.

And RIM announced a deal with social-networking Web site MySpace to develop a mobile application customized for the BlackBerry. The pact was similar to a deal between RIM and social networking site Facebook announced last year.

RIM also unveiled an agreement with Slacker Inc to provide a free radio application for the BlackBerry. The application will let users listen to Slacker's radio stations even when not connected to a wireless network.

All the announcements made on Thursday were targeted at developing a market much broader than RIM's mainstay of business executives and other professionals.

The company has been seeking to expand its reach among retail consumers in a bid to diversify and spread the appeal of the BlackBerry.

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