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Blackberry purchase software company to enhance app store

Research In Motion are keen to get a percentage of the app store market and to help them realise their goal they have purchased Montreal based software company Tungle, who have a history of developing applications which allow users to schedule and synchronise meetings over their smart phones, computers and tablets.

With 20,000 applications currently available on the RIM app store, it is comparing poorly against Apple and Google's stores, which have 290,000 and 150,000 respectively. Tungle apps support Google, Microsoft Outlook, Apple iCal, Entourage for Mac, Windows Live, Lotus Notes and Yahoo.

Tungle released a statement saying they had been purchased by RIM, but did not reveal any of the financial details.

Tungle CEO Marc Gingras said “As of today, the entire team is joining the ranks of RIM. We're really excited about this. We know there isn't an industry more exciting than the smartphone and tablet markets. And RIM is a dominant player in this space.”

RIM CEO Jim Balsillie: sharp dressed man

This is exciting for you too as we expect the Tungle service to only get better. Our plan today is what it has always been – for Tungle to become integrated with your daily activities and be ubiquitous within the applications you're already using. When you think scheduling, Tungle should be at your fingertips.”

The timing of this takeover is critical, as Research In Motion hold their annual BlackBerry World Conference in Orlando, Florida next week and it is likely to showcase the new operating system as well as some new smart phones.

In previous conversations RIM CEO Jim Balsille has dismissed the current lack of applications, but clearly behind the scenes they have been scrambling to improve the situation. Last month for instance they signed a deal with Polar Mobile to develop exclusive applications for the Playbook tablet. They have already developed over 180 applications for the BlackBerry smartphones.

KitGuru says: Will RIM be able to go head to head with Amazon and Apple? It certainly won't be easy.

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