In a strange but logical pairing, RIM (NSDQ: RIMM), the makers of Blackberry, along with media giant Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI), is launching a $150 million venture capital fund that would invest in mobile applications and services for the BlackBerry platform and other mobile platforms. Canadian VC firms JLA Ventures and RBC Venture Partners will co-manage the fund…both RIM and Thomson are Canadian companies as well. This comes after Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) announced its $100 million iFund dedicated to applications for the iPhone and iPod touch platforms a few weeks ago.
Unlike Apple, RIM said its fund would be open to all mobile platforms, not just for the Blackberry. In a sign that it wanted to break away from its business roots, it also said it would consider both consumer and corporate applications, though presumably Reuters’ interest is in business apps. Some more details in the release here.
RIM also announced the release of its so-called iPhone killer, the Blackberry Bold. While the triband smartphone is aimed at corporate users and supports HSDPA networks, it also includes many consumer-type multimedia features, GPS and WiFi built in. It also has a 2 megapixel camera that can record video, while its media player can play movies as well as display pictures and manage music. AT&T (NYSE: T), the iPhone