a post from David Yach, CTO at Research in Motion (RIM), the company has acquired The Astonishing Tribe (TAT), a notable design and development firm best known for its amazing Android interfaces, 3D graphics, Android live wallpapers and widgets and it's unfortunately discontinued but incredible augmented reality facial recognition application called Recognizr.According to
Now that TAT's team is moving to RIM, what will happen to all its Android-related work and the deals it already has in place?
TAT is a familiar name to ReadWriteWeb readers, as we've covered them multiple times in recent months. The firm has developed some amazing Android-only interfaces, some of which we featured only weeks ago, when we had an opportunity to demo them live.
At the time, TAT told us that its "TAT Home" collection of 3D homescreens (you may remember seeing these around the Web earlier this year, for example, on Engadget), is shipping on some Android devices "sometime next year." The devices were to be on a European carrier, company co-founder Paul Blomdahl told us. Discussions with other device manufacturers and carriers are happening too, he had said.
RIM to Get Its "Sexy" Back, Thanks to TAT?
As it turns out, by "device manufacturers," he may have been referring to RIM, makers of the Blackberry smartphone. Although still a top mobile player, RIM has seen its market share decline as Android moves up in the rankings. possibly even positioned to take over Symbian as the top mobile platform in the world, at least in some analysts' opinions. Android has already reached number one status here in the U.S. (as of November 1st), while RIM dropped below Apple for the first time, with a 24.2% share and the #3 spot.
What RIM needs is a good shot in the arm that brings excitement to its platform, and that's just what the folks over at TAT could deliver. As RIM notes in its official announcement, "TAT is renowned for their innovative mobile user interface (UI) designs and has a long history of working with mobile and embedded technology."
In other words, TAT is a brilliant talent hire for a mobile platform that just needs to get its "sexy" back.
We also want to know what this means for TAT's supposedly set deals with that unnamed European carrier as well as the other deals they may have had in the works. We've reached out to the company for clarification and hope to hear back. We'll update when/if we do.
Update: All RIM would say is that "TAT will continue to honor it current agreements and service its existing customers," as per its blog post here.