RIM buys Swedish UI developer to battle Apple's iPad

The company will help RIM compete with Apple's iPad

Research In Motion (RIM) plans to acquire Swedish company The Astonishing Tribe (TAT), which specializes in developing user interfaces, according to a blog posted on Thursday

TAT will help RIM develop the user interfaces on smartphones and its upcoming tablet, PlayBook, the blog post said. The acquisition is a good move by RIM, because user interfaces is an area where the RIM has lagged behind its rivals, according to Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight. TAT is good at building innovative user interfaces that are not just easy-to-use, but also make, for example, smartphones fun to use, he said.

TAT is especially excited about helping RIM develop the PlayBook's user interface.

"I am not sure if our work will yield results in the first version that will come out this winter, but we will work on that product and future versions of it," TAT founder Hampus Jakobsson told IT24, an IDG Sweden website.

The tablet market is getting increasingly crowded, and a user interface enhanced by TAT could help set the PlayBook apart from the competition, Wood said. The Android-based Samsung Galaxy Tab has shown that you can't just supersize the user interface on a smartphone to get a good user experience on a tablet, he said.

The deal is also a blow to Google and the Android camp, because TAT and its work has become increasingly valuable to the Android community, according to Wood.

RIM hasn't announced any financial details.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesbusiness issuesPhonesconsumer electronicsresearch in motionMergers / acquisitions

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?