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Hi Rimm fans,

I've been sitting here with my limit order at 18 1/2 and watching this puppy run away from me, but so far I've been reluctant to chase it. On the one hand, I like the RIMM story, and the products, especially the Blackberry, seem to have a lot of promise. On the other hand, I also feel some of the same uneasiness that Inkwell has been expressing. It seems to me that the Palm VII is a potentially serious competitor. I know all the arguments that have been made here pro and con, and I am relatively persuaded by the always on nature of the Blackberry. I think that another issue for users is going to be what they put their emphasis on, paging/email first, or pda first. For those who are used to the pda functions of the palm, the somewhat inconvenient need to call in to check email may be tolerable. I don't know how good the pda functions of the Blackberry are, so I'm not sure how well it will cover users who really want a pda.

One other point that hasn't been brought up here, and that gives me pause in chasing RIMM, is that RIMM is really embracing the idea that future products like this should be devoted to a particular use rather than integrating several uses. In other words, the model is one in which we carry a Blackberry, perhaps a separate pda, and a phone. I wonder about that. For example, I now carry a phone and a Palm III, and I think it would be cool to carry a Blackberry too to have instant email. But... I don't really want to carry three (or even two, to be honest) devices. What I wonder is, what will happen to RIMM as phones become more multi-purpose devices, with paging (now) and email (soon) capability? If I could carry a phone that either let me read my email, or that read it to me (e.g., using General Magic text-to-speech), and that let me respond in an open-ended way (not like the skytel pager), where would that leave RIMM. To ask this question in a more general way, is the strategy of focusing on devoted devices rather than multi-purpose devices a good one for the long term? I'm interested in your Foolish views.

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