AOL Cuts RIM Ties, Picks Up Sidekick

Way back, when AOL first announced a partnership with RIM to produce special Blackberries as part of the AOL Anywhere strategy, many people expressed surprise. After all, AOL is the ultimate consumer ISP, while the RIM Blackberry was entirely focused on the business user market. The two didn’t seem to fit. It appears that reality has finally hit home for AOL who is dropping support for the RIM device, and moving their support to the Danger Sidekick, as supplied by T-Mobile. This certainly makes sense, since the Sidekick is considered by many to be the “consumer Blackberry” (though, the folks at RIM probably aren’t too thrilled about that). The thing that surprises me about this deal is that they’re just offering a rebate on the T-Mobile device, rather than trying to do more branding themselves of the device, while just letting it run on the T-Mobile (or some other) network.

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