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RIM Buys Out QNX Software Systems

Acquisition could marry Blackberry to in-vehicle entertainment systems.
Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, has acquired QNX Software Systems and plans to integrate the smartphone with the latter company's in-vehicle entertainment platform.

RIM did not disclose financial details, but said Friday the transaction is expected to close within 35 to 45 days, pending regulatory approval. QNX is owned by Harman International, which designs, manufactures and markets a broad line of audio and infotainment products for the automotive, consumer and professional markets.

RIM did not provide many details on its plans for QNX, but said the acquisition would support "certain unannounced product plans for intelligent peripherals."

"RIM is excited about the planned acquisition of QNX Software Systems and we look forward to ongoing collaboration between Harman, QNX and RIM to further integrate and enhance the user experience between smartphones and in-vehicle audio and infotainment systems," Mike Lazaridis, president and co-chief executive of RIM, said in a statement.

QNX, bought by Harman in 2004, offers the Neutron operating system used in systems found in many business sectors, including automotive, industrial telecommunications, medical, defense and aerospace.

QNX chief executive Dan Dodge said RIM would provide the company with the money and resources needed to increase spending to improve and expand its core products, professional services and go-to-market channels.

"This is a great time to be a QNX customer, as we focus on collaborating with RIM to create an even more exciting platform for the next generation of connected and embedded devices," Dodge said.

RIM's BlackBerry is the leading smartphone in the United States. At the end of January, the BlackBerry, which is particularly popular among businesspeople, was used by 41.3% of all smartphone owners aged 13 and over, according to ComScore. Apple's iPhone was second with 25.1% of the market.