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BlackBerry Devices despite the proven value proposition remain a closed messaging solutions. All of its integrated components and services are supplied by one single vendor RIM.

The component of the blackberry system consists purely of the protocols used for the final leg communication between the device message centers and the actual mobile devices themselves. BlackBerry is a closed solution because such protocols belong exclusively to RIM. These protocols are heavily protected by patents and are not published thus making them unavailable to potentially competing vendors. They are treated as trade secrets.

BlackBerry devices consist precisely of the components and services defined by RIM. Due to the closed nature of the protocols, it is not possible for any other vendor to provide an alternative component of the BlackBerry solution. This is very much by choice so RIM maintain a sustainable advantage on the competition.

An integrated package of these closed components is needed to bring the messaging facility to the end user. The components used by blackberry to do this are outlined below:

The Mobile Device
Only the RIM built blackberry wireless devices are available to use with this technology. No other device such as your palm pilot or your windows CE device is currently supported.

The Wireless Modem
Only the RIM wireless modem which is actually integrated into your blackberry device is supplied, no other third party modem is supported by the device.

Message Center Service
The message center for the final leg communications to the mobile device is provided solely by the RIM owned and operated blackberry message center. No other message center is used for this.

In the case of desktop integration, blackberry provides support for Microsoft outlook e-mail only. Blackberry provides support for exchange only, no other message center systems are supported. All of these components are packaged into the solution for the end user exclusively by RIM.

How It Works
We've just added an article outlining how blackberry actually works, view it here.
If you're interested in finding out if blackberry is available in your country at this time, check out the coverage page - you can find it here.
Out Of Memory
Are you experiencing the infamous blackberry "Out Of Memory" error, if so, click here to find out common causes and several solutions.