We love a good BlackBerry, but we do wish they'd brush up on their web browsers. Which is where this comes in...
RIM has this week bought Torch Mobile, a mobile browser developer which uses a Webkit platform (the same as that behind Safari on the iPhone and PC, the Android browser and Google Chrome). No purchase figure was released.
"Torch Mobile is excited to announce that our company has been acquired by Research In Motion (RIM), one of the most renowned mobile technology companies in the world," enthused the company in an official statement on its site.
"Our team of developers will join RIM's global organization and will now be focused on utilizing our WebKit-based mobile browser expertise to contribute to the ongoing enhancement of the BlackBerry platform," it continued. "Torch Mobile's team of highly skilled developers has been actively involved in Open Source development and includes contributors, Committers and Reviewers of the WebKit project. As part of RIM, these developers will continue to be active participants in the WebKit development community."
That pretty much sums it up. I suspect it will take some time for RIM to either swap out its own browser in favour of Torch Mobile's 'Iris' browser, or to combine the best parts of the two. Iris currently only runs on Microsoft Windows Mobile - yes, I see the funny side too. Torch hasn't confirmed whether it will now stop all Windows Mobile product development, but I'd say that's highly likely - wouldn't you?!
What is certain however is the speed and lightweight nature of Webkit currently makes it the best platform for mobile browsing. So welcome to the party RIM.