April 30, 2009
The stereotype of a BlackBerry user is a mobile professional who's only concerned about increased productivity and getting work done. But Research In Motion smartphones are increasingly being used for entertainment, and that fact is bolstered by the 1 million downloads of the music-streaming app from Slacker.
The Slacker for BlackBerry app, introduced about four months ago, enables users to access the Internet radio service on the go. The service is different from Pandora because it lets users cache stations so they can listen to music even when there's no mobile Internet connection. The app is available for BlackBerrys OS 4.3 or later, which includes handsets like the Bold, Storm, and the Curve 8900. The service is free to download and use, but there's a premium version for $3.99 a month that offers unlimited skips and no ads. "Slacker listeners tell us the great audio quality combined with the largest music library available for any personal radio app on BlackBerry smartphones are key reasons why Slacker is the best music choice," Jonathan Sasse, senior VP of marketing for Slacker, said in a statement. RIM has wide adoption in the enterprise market, but it's increasingly finding an audience among casual users. The company recently said more than 40% of its 25 million subscribers are noncorporate users. To capitalize on this audience, the company is placing a stronger emphasis on entertainment apps like Slacker and launched an over-the-air store to browse, buy, download, and install programs on the go. The App World launched last month, and RIM is hoping it will mirror the success of Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Mobile applications can boost a workforce's productivity but can bring up multiple questions about security. InformationWeek analyzed how to get a handle on locking down data when it's on the move, and the report can be downloaded here (registration required).
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