RIM acquires popular BlackBerry app-maker
The BlackBerry creator hasn’t said what it will use Viigo for, but it could be to make sure no one else can.
Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) saw enough value in one of its mobile applications to acquire it, rather than let it fend for itself in BlackBerry App World. Viigo, the popular information aggregation mobile app announced today it will become a part of RIM, but little other details are known about why.
The acquisition follows a similar move by fellow handset-maker Nokia (NYSE:NOK), which acquired mobile Web browser Novarra on Friday. Both manufacturers appear to be looking for ways to improve their user experiences – Nokia through better browsing and RIM through easier access to information.
Viigo is a free app that provides users with instant, syndicated content, including news, weather, entertainment, shopping, sports and stocks. It was among the first to debut on BlackBerry App World, where it quickly became one of the most frequently downloaded apps. The software client fires up on a user’s home screen and can be customized for sources it pulls from. As of an October update, the app also includes Twitter and streaming audio podcasts.
The 50-person company was reportedly working on a similar iPhone app that the acquisition could put an end to, although neither company has confirmed if this will be the case. Viigo has also been actively pursuing the enterprise market, BlackBerry’s home turf. The enterprise version, installable behind the firewall, would pull together mobile workers’ corporate information, such as calendars, projects and internal product lists.
Details of the purchase and RIM’s plans for Viigo were scant, save a post on Viigo’s Web site. Viigo has been a past recipient of BlackBerry Partners Fund money, which goes toward building apps for RIM’s line of smartphones.
“Our team has joined RIM’s global organization and will continue to bring our expertise in BlackBerry application development and real-time content delivery to the BlackBerry platform,” Viigo CEO Mark Ruddock wrote on the Web site. “The Viigo for BlackBerry app will also continue to be available for download through BlackBerry App World.”
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