Bloomberg News

AT&T Makes BlackBerry E-Mail App Available for RIM PlayBook

July 01, 2011

(Updates with closing share prices in final paragraph.)

July 1 (Bloomberg) -- AT&T Inc., the second-largest U.S. wireless provider, said it will begin offering software to its customers today that will allow BlackBerry e-mail on Research in Motion Ltd.’s PlayBook tablet computer.

The move, announced in an e-mailed statement, comes after more than two months of testing. Dallas-based AT&T said April 19, the first day of sales for the PlayBook, that it wouldn’t release the application until it completed its review.

RIM, edging its way into a crowded tablet field dominated by Apple Inc.’s iPad, has faced mixed reviews from technology columnists and other competitive disadvantages such as an inability to connect to mobile-phone networks.

The app lets PlayBook users access other information from their BlackBerry, such as calendars and contacts, without an additional tethering option. Web access on the tablet requires an additional monthly plan, AT&T said.

Verizon Wireless, which also sells the $499-to-$699 tablet, is still evaluating the app and hasn’t made a decision, Brenda Raney, a spokeswoman for the Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based carrier, said in an e-mail.

AT&T rose 27 cents to $31.68 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, gained 8 cents to $28.93 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

--Editors: John Lear, Cecile Daurat

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Bensinger in New York at gbensinger1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net


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