In what appears to be an effort to improve the BlackBerry Web browsing experience, Research In Motion (RIM) has purchased Torch Mobile, makers of the Iris browser for Windows Mobile.
RIM has recently been rumored to be working on Flash and Silverlight support for its line of BlackBerry smartphones, but many have questioned whether the company’s current browsers are up to the challenge.
According to an announcement on Torch Mobile’s Web site, the company will now be “focused on utilizing our WebKit-based mobile browser expertise to contribute to the ongoing enhancement of the BlackBerry platform.”
A better Web browsing experience could be just the ticket for RIM, which in recent months has received some flack for not adequately serving the consumer market. Devices like the iPhone and Palm Pre increasingly are as proficient at handling enterprise tasks as they are at doing consumer-oriented functions.
UBS recently downgraded RIM to “’Neutral” from “Buy,” noting the possibility of a Verizon Wireless device from Apple. Senior UBS analyst Maynard Um said in research note that RIM could suffer from mere rumors that an iPhone might be released in the near future on Verizon’s network.