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RIM intros BlackBerry Fund to rival Apple's iFund

updated 12:40 am EDT, Mon May 12, 2008

RIM BlackBerry Fund

Research in Motion early Monday confirmed rumors with the launch of the BlackBerry Partners Fund, a venture capital pool meant to rival the iFund for the iPhone. The $150 million pool eclipses the $100 million for the Apple device but shares the same goal of spurring growth in app development: promising young companies at any stage of development for their BlackBerry software can apply for capital to help their apps reach completion.

The fund is necessary because cellphones have "evolved well beyond phone calls and simple messaging," according to RIM co-chief Jim Balsillie.

Unlike the Apple-backed fund, however, the financial support won't be handed out solely to BlackBerry developers and can be used for apps and services also written for "other mobile platforms," according to RIM. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company doesn't say whether it will fund companies without any BlackBerry apps in progress, but notes that a company's existing budget also won't be an immediate concern.

The fund will be supported by Canadian bank RBC as well as Thomson Reuters and venture capital firm JLA Ventures. No announcement has been made as to when the BlackBerry Partners Fund will be active.

RIM's move escalates a growing rivalry between itself and Apple, the two of which now are considered the primary competitors in the US for smartphone marketshare and which still have relatively young third-party app platforms. The Canadian company tonight stepped up its competition with the iPhone through the unveiling of the BlackBerry Bold, its first truly 3G phone as well as the first to offer a more complete web browser, GPS, and Wi-Fi in one handset.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Is Black berry so scared of Apple and the iPhone that its copying Apple as much as possible already??

    And just how much can you innovate when all you do is copy??

    Just a thought.


  1. videoboy22

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Absolutely pathetic

    Talk about a "me too" move...

  1. Saint_Stryfe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I thought...

    Blackberries were used by businesses who shun the use of third-party apps.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: already

    one thing is for sure, RIM couldn't possibly be as inept an Apple copy machine as Microsoft.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: I thought

    No, blackberries are used by businesses because of their support for third party apps. That's was one (and still might be one) of the initial resistance of the iPhone as a business device.

  1. MeandmyMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I get it...

    Aqua (does not equal) Aero Widgets (does not equal) Gadgets iFund (does not equal) Blackberry Partners Fund

    Just mere coincidences... I get it...

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: i get it

    Yep, just like Apple's widgets doesn't resemble, work, or was inspired the least bit by Konfabulator

  1. JohnnyFive

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: re: i get it

    or that konfabulator was inspired the least bit by next step? geez.

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