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Sybase Inc plans to soon start selling software that lets businesses securely distribute e-mail to the iPhone, which could help the popular device gain use among business clients.

The program for Apple Inc’s iPhone will be released before the end of this year, John Chen said on Monday at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York. When asked to be more specific, he said, "It will be soon."

The new program lets workers use the iPhone to access their e-mail with the same security safeguards that are currently available in products for use on Treo smartphones from Palm Inc and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry, Chen said.

He said that Sybase is also working on similar software for Android, a new smartphone platform that Google Inc is developing with dozens of other companies.

The new Sybase software programs will allow businesses to deliver e-mail to several different types of phones, depending on which device a user carries, Chen said.

"It will be secure enterprise grade," Chen said. "It will let the IT guys manage it."

The business software maker already sells software that companies can use to send e-mail using the BlackBerry, Treo and smartphones running on the Symbian operating system as well as one for mobile devices from Microsoft Corp.

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