RIM squashes ‘AppleBerry’ dream

The ongoing rumour that Research in Motion (RIM) is working with Apple to create a mobile phone/iPod hybrid – dubbed ‘AppleBerry’ by hopeful fans – was dealt a blow on Tuesday as RIM refused to answer any questions on the subject.

Jim Balsillie, co-chief executive at RIM would not be drawn on the issue when questioned by the Reuters news agency on the alleged project.

Since competition in the push email arena began heating up, RIM has been asked repeatedly about its plans for the future in what is looking to be a highly competitive market. At the GSM World Congress, a senior executive at the BlackBerry firm, said the company would do “everything it could” to appeal to consumers.

Balsillie confirmed Tuesday, that the company will adopt a more consumer-friendly approach with future models of its iconic BlackBerry device which remains the dominant force in mobile email.

“We’ll be definitely supporting more forms of media, it’s a big part of our direction,” Balsillie told Reuters. Features consumers now expect in a mobile device, such as a camera, music and video will feature in consumer BlackBerrys in the future, he said.

Rumours of Apple and RIM getting it together on what would surely be the mother of all consumer gadgets, began after analyst Peter Misek, of Canaccord Capital wrote in a research note that the pair could develop a wireless device based on their combined technologies.

But Balsillie would not discuss the rumours and did not say whether any talks with Apple had taken place.

Observers have predicted the swift demise of RIM with the arrival of Microsoft in push email and the likes of Motorola and Nokia in the Smartphone sector. However, Balsillie denied his company had felt pressure yet.

Apple does not comment on rumours or speculation.

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