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Nokia Axes BlackBerry Connections

Starting with its upcoming E71 and E66 smartphones, Nokia said it wants to offer the option of connecting to other e-mail services.
While Research In Motion dominates the smartphone market, enterprise users don't necessarily need a BlackBerry handset to get the company's e-mail services. RIM's BlackBerry Connect e-mail system has long worked with smartphones from various manufacturers, including Nokia.

But Nokia is making a harder pitch for business users by cutting the BlackBerry Connect application from its upcoming E71 and E66 smartphones, the company confirmed last week.

"RIM is a competitor and has done a reasonable job in a space that is traditionally ours, so it's no great surprise that we see this as an opportunity to give consumers a proper choice on what e-mail solutions they want," said Simon Ainslie, Nokia's UK managing director, in an interview with Mobile magazine .

"Our approach is to make e-mail a mass-market proposition for everybody, not just for the corporate boardroom group of individuals where BlackBerry has established itself," Ainslie said.

Both smartphones have a sleek design and are packed with features for the mobile professionals. The E71 has a full QWERTY keyboard, integrated Wi-Fi for Internet access, Bluetooth capabilities, assisted GPS, and a multimedia player, and it comes preloaded with Mail for Exchange.

The handset sports a 2.4-inch QVGA display, and it's the first in the E series line that supports 3G over AT&T's HSDPA network, allowing for a maximum of 3.6 Mbps download speed. The E66 has many of the same features as the E71, but it loses the QWERTY keyboard for a sliding form factor.

Nokia's latest E series smartphones are expected to compete head-on with RIM's upcoming BlackBerry Bold, as well as Apple's iPhone 3G.

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