RIM Snaps Up Cross-Platform Mobile Productivity App Maker DataViz

Blackberry maker Research In Motion (RIM) confirmed Tuesday that it has acquired assets of software firm DataViz, provider of some of the most popular mobile productivity apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Mobile and RIM's own Blackberry.

"RIM has acquired some of the assets of DataViz and hired the majority of its employees to focus on supporting the Blackberry platform," RIM (NASDAQ: RIMM) spokespeople said in an email to InternetNews.com. "Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the transaction was not material to RIM in the context of RIM’s financial results."

RIM will reportedly pay $50 million in cash for DataViz, according to Blackberry enthusiast site Crackberry.com, which originally broke the story.

The deal brings DataViz's highly popular Documents To Go app into RIM's sphere. Documents To Go is a cross-platform app that gives users access to programs like Microsoft's Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as PDFs and other documents, on their handheld devices and smartphones.

The acquisition follows Friday's announcement by DataViz that it would cancel its plans for Documents To Go for Palm webOS, leading to some speculation -- in light of the acquisition -- that Documents To Go may not support platforms other than Blackberry going forward. However, DataViz pinned the explanation on delays by Palm. It explained that it had experienced substantial delays in the project due to difficulty gaining technical support from the handset maker, which HP now owns since its acquisition of Palm earlier this year.

"We have now come to the realization that it is not in DataViz's nor our users' best interests to continue the wait and produce the full version," DataViz said in its statement. "We understand that another developer has chosen to create an editing Office product for webOS and we wish them the best. Again, we apologize to our users for taking this long to reach, what is for DataViz and many of our users, a disappointing conclusion."

The deal also comes two weeks after RIM's acquisition of mobile app store infrastructure provider Cellmania, a move aimed at strengthening the BlackBerry App World marketplace.

Thor Olavsrud is a contributor to InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


Blackberry, smartphones, RIM, Research In Motion, DataViz