Pushing Free Email At Users

RIM must be getting tired carrying a bull’s-eye on its back, whether it’s running from overzealous patent hoarders or rivals for the mobile email crown. Now, an exec from RIM competitor Seven Networks says Nokia will offer “free” push e-mail for a year on all of its new handsets, and for 30 to 40 euros per year after that. “Free” because, as always, the service may be free, but operators will likely still charge through the nose for data traffic, assuming they’ll let their subscribers access it. Seven says it’s a huge land grab by Nokia, and points to the success of its Yahoo Mail client for Sprint as evidence that consumers will be interested. Consumers will likely use the service because it will be integrated in the handset, and free for a good while. But it’s doubtful the average Joe User will care enough that it’s push email (or even know what that is) to continue paying for it, particularly when plenty of handsets these days can be set to retrieve mail at regular intervals — which could also apparently now be touted as a “free service”. This probably won’t hurt RIM too much, either, since the bulk of its users don’t care about the price since their company pays, and seem to love Blackberry devices as much as the service itself.

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