RIM Acquires Torch Mobile - InformationWeek
Mobile // Mobile Devices
01:11 PM

RIM Acquires Torch Mobile

To get the BlackBerry's browser on par with the iPhone and Android, RIM has acquired the maker of the Iris mobile browser for an undisclosed amount.

In an effort to boost the browsers in its BlackBerry smartphones, Research In Motion has acquired Torch Mobile for an undisclosed amount.

Torch Mobile is best known for the Iris mobile browser, which is built upon the WebKit rendering engine. The browser also has a Web widget platform for things like Google Gadgets, Yahoo widgets, and other content providers.

"Torch Mobile's team of highly skilled developers has been actively involved in open source development and includes contributors, commiters, and reviewers of the WebKit project," Torch said on its Web site. "As part of RIM, these developers will continue to be active participants in the WebKit development community."

RIM's BlackBerry smartphones are widely considered to have the best mobile e-mail functionality, but the mobile browsing experience lags behind Apple's iPhone, Google's Android, and Palm's Pre, which all use browsers based on WebKit. The acquisition aligns with recent reports that RIM will be making a strong effort to bolster its browsers, including potential future support for Flash and Silverlight technologies.

The move comes as more and more consumers are using their mobile phones to browse the Web on the go, and this is leading to increased competition in the mobile browser space. While most people use the on-deck browser for their surfing needs, there is a growing market for third-party browsers.

Opera Mini has been downloaded and used by more than 20 million people, and it is optimized to minimize bandwidth and hardware requirements. Mozilla is trying to replicate the success it had on the desktop with Firefox by bringing out the Fennec mobile browser, and it brings extension support to smartphones. Additionally, startup Skyfire has generated a lot of buzz with its browser because it enables users to access and interact with sites built with Flash, Ajax, JavaScript, and other Web technologies.

With strong browsers, smartphones could eventually replace your laptop as a mobile computing device. InformationWeek analyzed how handhelds are becoming over-the-air portals for enterprise apps, and the report can be downloaded here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll