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  5. BlackBerry maker RIM snaps up design firm

BlackBerry maker RIM snaps up design firm

BlackBerry maker RIM snaps up design firm

Research in Motion (RIM) has acquired a Swedish firm specialising in user interface design, as it looks to compete more effectively with Android, Apple’s iPhone and Windows Phone 7.

The acquisition of The Astonishing Tribe (TAT) is expected to pave the way for an extensive revamp of the BlackBerry OS 6 and QNX platforms with a view to raising their appeal to the mass market and making them more user friendly.

David Yach, Chief Technology Officer at TIM, said: "TAT is renowned for their innovative mobile user interface (UI) designs and has a long history of working with mobile and embedded technology [focusing] on delivering great user experiences.

“We’re excited that the TAT team will be joining RIM and bringing their talent to the BlackBerry PlayBook and smartphone platforms.”

BlackBerry 6 debuted earlier this year and added an onscreen keyboard to the business focused handsets, as well as a better music player and a more robust social networking solution.

TAT, which worked extensively on Google’s Android OS, claims that its software is installed in around 15 per cent of all phones worldwide.

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