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BRANDING NEWS: Xing and IBM pick BlackBerry

Xing and IBM have become the latest B2B brands to launch apps for the BlackBerry smartphone with the aim of reaching out to business decision makers.

The online business network, Xing, targeted BlackBerry specifically because it is the most widely used phone by professionals worldwide. Thorsten Vespermann, director of corporate communications at Xing says, "Business people want easier and faster ways to access and communicate with their personal contacts on the go, wherever they happen to be."

Over 1,500 Xing members have downloaded the app - made available on July 2nd - with many more users expected to add it. It will enable users to access their Xing account whilst on the move creating better access to the platform.

Xing is using active PR work to market the availability of the new app as well as sending newsletters to its 7 million members. The business networking site say not only are their members spreading the news via word of mouth to their colleges and friends - but by targeting BlackBerry specifically - they have managed to: "successfully reach out to the active BlackBerry fan communities around the world," says Vespermann.

Not wanting to leave the iPhone out, Xing has been offering members who use the Apple technology a native app since last year. Despite its longer availability the iPhone app seems less advanced as it has only just been updated to come with a range of core Xing features.

IBM meanwhile developed an app aimed at transforming the way spectators access information at sporting events. It superimposes statistics and players comments from social networking sites such as Twitter to a video feed on the handset.

The IT giant developed the BlackBerry app specifically for Wimbledon supporting its long term sponsorship deal with the club, as well as creating a data application for Apple's iPhone.