NY Times in love…with BlackBerrys

Posted by joy

Foxnews.com’s gossip columist Roger Friedman has some very interesting background information about an article on BlackBerrys and Washington DC dating which appeared over the weekend in the NY Times.

The gist is that the guy quoted in the NY Times article, Trip Donnelly, just happens to work for a company called InPhonic that used to sell Blackberries. Used to under InPhonic’s own name, apparently. Mr. Donnelly’s employer was mentioned in the article briefly, but no mention that the company still has an interest in BlackBerrys. Here are a few facts that Roger dug up.

According to published reports, InPhonic purchased a company called GadgetSpace�Inc. in 2001 for $10 million in stock. GadgetSpace — on a Web site copyrighted in 2002 to InPhonic — sells two BlackBerry models, which Donnelly is very much involved in marketing to customers: the RIM 857 and 850. (RIM stands for Research in Motion, the company that makes the BlackBerry.)

Internetnews.com wrote in its announcement of the InPhonic-GadgetSpace deal that “the Cary, N.C.-based GadgetSpace develops software and services that extend large-scale corporate applications to wireless devices such as mobile phones and handheld computers like the RIM BlackBerry wireless e-mail device, the Palm and the PocketPC.”

It’s clear from its Web site and other promotional materials that InPhonic is very involved in selling and promoting the technology that makes it work.

What’s really going on here? The answer is: who knows? Is it just a coincidence that a product has not only been featured, but the main character in the story works for a company that promotes and sells the product? Will BlackBerry soon be a big print advertiser in the New York Times? Maybe someone will send us a text message so we can find out — on a SideKick, preferably.

See, reading the gossip column has it’s plusses.

One Response to “NY Times in love…with BlackBerrys”

  1. bryan Says:

    Another case of the stealth promotional agent disguised as innocent random source for a story. I wonder how often this goes on?