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Devices/smartphones

RIM Buys Up App Partner

The trend of large handset vendors buying out smaller mobile software providers continues this Monday, with BlackBerry acquiring Viigo, a supplier of one of the more popular mobile applications available for its BlackBerry phones.

The companies aren't saying how much the acquisition will cost. Viigo announced the buyout with a simple announcement on its Website: "Our team has joined RIM’s global organization and will continue to bring our expertise in BlackBerry application development and real-time content delivery to the BlackBerry platform." (See RIM Swallows Viigo.)

The six year-old company has around 50 employees. The Ontario-based firm has raised at least $7.9 million in VC funding since late 2007.

The firm started as a mobile RSS reader but developed into a mobile content delivery company with multiple channels for news, weather, entertainment, sports, and more. The firm has also worked with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) but has gathered more attention with its BlackBerry application.

The Viigo application is described as one of "the most highly used application[s] after eMail" on the BlackBerry Webstore. Viigo had been said to be working on an iPhone version of the application for a while before RIM brought the developer in-house.

The RIM move follows a buyout by Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) of micro-browser developer Novarra Inc. last Friday. (See Nokia Snaps Up Microbrowser Maven.) — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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