At a press conference attended by hundreds of international journalists Siemens Mobile last month unveiled the first mobile phone to feature full support for Research in Motion’s BlackBerry push-email client. This means that the Siemens SK65 is currently the only mobile phone on the market that can provide you with instant access to your email as soon as it arrives in your mailbox. The phone’s second killer feature is a twist out keyboard, the back of the device rotates through 90 degrees to reveal a small qwerty keyboard which should allow for much faster text input than can be achieved on an ordinary mobile phone’s number pad. The device includes a range of other business-focused features, although Siemens chose to omit a camera as the company believes that many organisations see camera-phones as a security risk.

Speaking at the launch president of Siemens mobile group Thorsten Heins said: “The SK65 is the first mobile phone to offer complete email management on the move. We have worked in partnership with Research in Motion to incorporate BlackBerry technology into this handset and we have ensured that our device meets a range of business needs.”

A recent study by research company Ipsos Reid on behalf of RiM found that for every employee they equipped with a BlackBerry device employers were able to gain an average of 188 working hours per year. According to the same survey BlackBerry wielding employees claimed that they were able to recover 108 hours per year, on average, of personal time. The study was carried out on 210 BlackBerry users and 490 IT managers around the world. 99 per cent of respondents agreed that using a BlackBerry device had enhanced their workflow efficiency.

At the same conference Siemens also announced that it was merging its fixed line and mobile communications groups into a single business. The new unit will manufacturer a wide range of fixed line and mobile telecommunications products including PBX hardware, mobile handsets, cordless phones, VoIP products and so forth. Lothar Pauly, chairman of Siemens Communications said: ”We are now excellently positioned to serve all operator needs as one supplier for everything, from infrastructure all the way to devices.”

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