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11/23/2010
04:41 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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RIM Kicks Kik Out Of App World

Research In Motion said that award-winning Kik violated contractual obligations and pulled Kik's application from BlackBerry App World.

On November 12, RIM suspended the Kik messenger application, blocking BlackBerry users from downloading it. Things took a turn for the worse, and RIM has decided to put the kibosh on the app completely.

Kik said in a blog post, "We have worked day and night to build a super-fast, reliable and free cross-platform instant messaging app. This includes more than a year of development for BlackBerry smartphones. We have worked cooperatively with RIM at every step. We think it’s fair to say that, until very recently, our relationship has been nothing less than friendly."

"RIM placed Kik on BlackBerry App World without issue. Kik’s upcoming mobile music service received a special award at BlackBerry DevCon about a year ago, and was named by RIM just six weeks ago as one of the first five featured apps to be included in its upcoming BBM platform."

The Kik team is obviously surprised and confused by RIM's move. In response to press inquiries, RIM said, "RIM became aware of a number of issues and customer concerns regarding the Kik app and service. Following discussions with Kik, the app was removed from BlackBerry App World on November 12. Upon further investigation, RIM concluded that Kik had breached contractual obligations. Based on the broad scope and seriousness of the issues and concerns, RIM terminated its agreements with Kik and withdrew RIM’s support for Kik’s service."

That sounds pretty severe, but RIM doesn't elaborate. It's statement is very vague, and doesn't specify really what the issue is about.

In Kik's blog post today, the company ponders the reasoning behind RIM's move, but fails to say what it really thinks is going on here.

It says, "Some people have suggested that we’re 'too similar' to RIM's instant messaging product, and that somehow this is behind their decision. We would be surprised and disappointed if there is any truth to this, as RIM has always championed the BlackBerry ecosystem as an open platform. However, if true, the implications would go well beyond Kik to the entire mobile community, users and developers alike."

Kik's messaging service works across platforms, including Android and iOS, and it has swelled to 2.5 million users in the last few months.

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