BlackBerry Balance: RIM seeks to retain corporate dominance in smartphone market with bold new feature

The venerable Research In Motion is looking to retain its dominance of the corporate smartphone market via a new feature. It’s renowned BlackBerry line will become one-notch more useful for corporate users thanks to a feature that will separate a user’s personal data from their work-related emails and apps.

The feature, unreleased but launching in roughly two months (in the U.S. anyway), will work almost in the sense of giving the user two phones in one—on a software level, at least.

The Canadian tech titan is addressing a growing concern with regards to an eroding notion that BlackBerry is the only option for corporate smartphones. A trend of employers allowing users to rely on their own smartphones—which may very well be iPhones and Androids—presents a risk to what has been RIM’s most lucrative business. 

“There are two fundamental use cases on the smartphone—enterprise and personal,” observed RIM’s senior senior vice-president for business and platform marketing, Jeff McDowell, in  an interview with the Globe and Mail. But, he noted, “the problem is that they are conflicting.”

The solution? BlackBerry Balance, software that allows corporate IT departments to continue managing business email data and apps on the famous BlackBerry Enterprise Server—while keeping the users’ personal browsing, social networking, etc., separate.

“We just wanted to create an innovative solution that allows enterprises to manage the corporate data side while at the same time give their employees the freedom to use Facebook and browse the Web and get their Internet email at the same time,” Jeff elaborated in the interview.

Balance is in testing still but will be available on RIM’s forthcoming PlayBook tablet.