RIM holds Torch for better BlackBerry browser

RIM has purchased browser developer Torch Mobile, potentially signalling a brighter future for the smartphone maker’s troubled browser.

RIM holds Torch for better BlackBerry browser

Torch Mobile develops the Iris mobile browser, which is based on the same WebKit foundation powering Safari, Chrome and the browser on the Palm Pre.

According to Torch Mobile’s website, it was snapped up by the smartphone giant on 24 August for an undisclosed sum, and the two will now concentrate on integrating their browser technologies.

“Our team of developers will join RIM’s global organisation and will now be focused on utilising our WebKit-based mobile browser expertise to contribute to the ongoing enhancement of the BlackBerry platform,” a statement reads.

The news should cheer BlackBerry officandos. RIM’s browser effort is considered the weakest of the major smartphone players, with our review of the BlackBerry Storm 9500 noting that the “BlackBerry web browser isn’t as responsive or as good at accurately rendering web pages as the Windows Mobile-based Opera Mobile 9.5 or the iPhone’s Mobile Safari.”

The report follows rumours last week that BlackBerry was developing a new browser that would support both Flash and Silverlight. However, none of the companies involved in the story were willing to comment.

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