Newbay, an Irish company, was bought this week by Research in Motion (the makers of BlackBerry devices) for 100 million USD. But what does it offer RIM that they dont already have?
Well RIM is currently transitioning to it’s new operating system BBX (Formally known as QNX) which they hope will offer a more immersive experience for the user then it’s current java based OS. Newbay’s skill set seems to surround social media which RIM is heavily involved in (think BBM and the apps for twitter and facebook). Newbay produces white label software for various clients in the mobile industry (T-Mobile USA, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica O2, France Telecom Orange, US Cellular, ATT, Telstra and Verizon). White label software is software that’s produced by one company but marketed and re-branded by the another to make it appear that it’s their own. Think of the myO2 app or Tesco branded yogurts. Newbay’s software includes SyncDrive (akin to dropbox or sugarsync), LifeCache which enables a user to instantly update, socialize and view all activity on sites they’re connected to such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Myspace as well as photo and video apps for managing your shared content.
Basically it seems Newbay is a one stop social media app outlet. Presumably RIM will use their software to integrate all of these apps into the operating system reducing the need to download and utilise separate apps for all of these purposes. It sounds like a good idea and certainly would be welcomed by many users.
Next year is a make or break year for RIM. They’ve got to show that BBX can compete with iOS and Android (not to mention Windows Phone 7) or they may end the year being sold off. RIM in my mind have made all the right decisions re their purchases over the last few years (beginning with TAT and QNX) so hopefully they can combine all of these elements into the right package. I think RIM have gotten very lucky with Apple not releasing a completely new device this year. The wait is now nearly over. Show us the money RIM!