Compaq to market RIM wireless email devices

The two companies will work together to sell BlackBerry advanced pagers as part of the PC giant's overall push to get into the device market.

Michael Kanellos Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.
Michael Kanellos
2 min read
Compaq and Research in Motion will work together to market BlackBerry advanced pagers as part of the PC giant's overall push to get into the device market.

Compaq will sell two versions of RIM's BlackBerry pager under its iPaq brand name, according to sources close to the company. The iPaq W1000 Wireless E-Mail Solution will be a Compaq-branded version of RIM's standard BlackBerry pager, which can receive and send email.

The iPaq H1100, meanwhile, will be a branded version of RIM's 957 pager, which comes with a built-in organizer and a fairly sizeable screen. The 957 competes directly with Palm's Palm VII and Compaq's own iPaq handheld.

The RIM 957, which came out in April, features a larger screen than most of RIM's two-way pagers. It also features an Intel 386 processor, 5 MB of flash memory, a small keyboard, an embedded wireless modem, an integrated organizer and Blackberry email software. The devices came out at $499, plus $39 for monthly service.

The new alliance will be unfurled tomorrow in New York as part of a wide-ranging push by Houston-based Compaq to get into consumer electronics. Along with the new pagers, Compaq, as previously reported, will show off an Internet terminal for the home and an MP3 player.

Hooking up with Ontario, Canada-based RIM may present Compaq with some marketing challenges. RIM's devices effectively compete with the handhelds Compaq already sells. Compaq may try to sell the products in different markets.

So far, many of the Windows CE handhelds such as the iPaq handheld have been sold in the consumer market. By contrast, RIM's pagers have mostly been sold in the corporate market. Many high-level tech executives, including Compaq CEO Michael Capellas, adopted the device last year as a way to get email remotely.

News.com's Stephanie Miles contributed to this report.