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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesresearch in motionMergers / acquisitionsconsumer electronicssmartphonesPhones

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Most Popular Reviews

Deals on PC World

Deals on PC World


Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs


Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?