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RIM joins WebKittens litter with Torch-Mobile buy

Blackberry ripens

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Research in Motion (RIM), makers of the BlackBerry, has acquired Torch Mobile, developers of the WebKit-based Iris Browser.

A brief posting on Torch Mobile's blog says: "Our team of developers will join RIM’s global organization and will now be focused on utilizing our WebKit-based mobile browser expertise to contribute to the ongoing enhancement of the BlackBerry platform."

It appears that RIM is finally getting serious about providing a decent browser for its popular corporate tool.

News of the acquisition comes just days after The Boy Genius Report posted the news that RIM was planning on full Flash - not Flash Lite - and Microsoft Silverlight support for a new browser to be released next year. The Reg was unable to get Adobe, RIM, or Microsoft to comment on that report.

RIM is a bit late to joining the WebKit party. Other smartphones, including the Apple iPhone, Palm Pre, devices based on Google's Android, and phones running Nokia's S60 Platform on Symbian OS are all based on the open-source, KHTML-based WebKit engine.

WebKit may not be an official standard, but its wide adoption certainly gives it de facto standard status. RIM apparently agrees, and its acquisition of Torch Mobile moves it closer to joining the fold.

Terms of the acquisition were not announced. ®

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