BlackBerry back-end to support Apple, Android devices

RIM's device management system, BlackBerry Enterprise Server, will support iPhones, iPads and Android devices, the company has announced

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The back-end device management system for BlackBerrys will in future support iPhones, iPads and devices based on the Android operation system, Research in Motion announced yesterday.

This means businesses will be able to use BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) to manage a variety of employee mobile devices.

BES is often cited as RIM's strong suit in the enterprise mobile device wars, and is especially noted for its security features. The company was careful to point out, however, that the level of security that the multi-platform version could provide would depend "on different device platform capabilities, with some devices further limited by the design of their operating system".

The announcement reflects RIM's acknowledgement that the BlackBerry is no longer the only mobile device that businesses use. It said that the decision to launch a cross-platform version of BES was a response to "requests from enterprise customers".

RIM said it will acquire a German device management software vendor called ubitexx to make this happen.