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August 25, 2009

Blackberry in line for i-Phone like browsing

RIM buys Torch Mobile and versatile Iris browser

By CBR Staff Writer

BlackBerry users can look forward to a much improved i-Phone like internet browsing experience following the acquisition of Torch Mobile by Research In Motion (RIM). 

Torch is best known for the Webkit powered Iris mobile browser, a high-performance and versatile web browser application for mobile and embedded devices.

Based on the WebKit open source web browser rendering engine that is becoming a de facto standard for web browsing, the system stems from work at Apple where it has been developed as the rendering engine used within Safari on Windows, Mac OS X and iPhone OS.

Iris is specifically designed to function in resource-constrained environments.

It is designed to bring the full web experience to mobile phones, set-top boxes, mobile Internet devices, portable media players, mobile PCs and other embedded devices.

Following the acquisition by RIM the team of developers behind it will join the Canadian handheld manufacturer where they will work on utilising their WebKit-based mobile browser expertise “to contribute to the ongoing enhancement of the BlackBerry platform.”

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The Iris browser is currently available for Windows Mobile and Windows CE devices, although analysts reckon it will in future likely only be made available for use on the Blackberry unit.

No details have been disclosed about the nature of the deal.

Torch Mobile was set up in 2003 and is a Toronto-based company, while RIM has its HQ in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

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