RIM courts Apple, iPhone owners with security software

Posted by Mark Raby

Research in Motion is slowly beginning to adjust its mobile strategy to a motto of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

And thus, instead of trying to convince iPhone or Android users to switch to the outdated Blackberry platform, RIM is now offering security software for the rival operating systems.

Called Mobile Fusion, the new security package is marketed to enterprise customers that dole out employee iPhones, Android phones, and tablets. The software allows the employees' supervisors to monitor device activity, remotely wipe the contents, or lock access to the device.

"What our enterprise customers are looking for, and the opportunity for us, is to become the de facto [security] platform," said RIM VP Alan Panezic in a Reuters interview.

"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," he added.

Of course, the very idea that large enterprise customers are using something other than Blackberry phones at all is something that would have seemed like a foreign concept only a few years ago. But RIM just assumed those corporations would stick with Blackberry forever, allowing the company to be lazy while Android and iPhone introduced myriad reasons for the customers to switch.

So the tune has very much changed for RIM, a company that has managed to shave off double-digit market share in a market that has been historically rigid. Nevertheless, it's refreshing to see that RIM is finally waking up to reality and pursuing a strategy that could bring its name back to the forefront.

The question is whether or not that will actually happen. RIM's stock price has fallen 70% this year.