RIM to acquire cloud services provider NewBay

News Ben Griffin 13:27, 10 Oct 2011

BlackBerry is looking to keep up with its competitors, as the firm has reached a deal to buy Dublin-based cloud services provider NewBay

It looks like RIM is about to up its cloud game with BlackBerry, as a deal to purchase cloud specialists NewBay has been agreed.

The deal to buy NewBay, which is estimated to have cost RIM $100 million dollars, could see BlackBerry add the ability to store music, documents, address books and video in the cloud to its existing smartphones.

NewBay, which is based in Dublin and employs around 200 staff, is basically as a 'white label' cloud service provider. What this means is, companies such as AT&T and Verizon - both of which have a deal in place with NewBay - can use their own branding when enhancing services with the cloud.

Currently, NewBay has more than 80 million subscribers worldwide, thanks to deals with the two aforementioned companies and also AT&T, Verizon and Deutsche Telekom, to name a few.

As an attempt to keep up with Apple's iCloud, Microsoft's SkyDrive and Amazon's Cloud Player, NewBay could be RIM's saving grace. The company has been slow to adopt the technology, even when it's seen a clear shift in its target market, partly thanks to the meteoric rise of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).

Anaylst Mike Abramsky, RBC Capital Markets, told Reuters: 'RIM is coming later to market than competitive offerings. It's not known yet whether RIM's offering will match or lag the content and user experience of competitors.'

Whilst the cloud is certainly not necessary for most consumers, and you could argue BlackBerry has been offering a cloud-based phone back-up service for quite some time, there's no arguing how handy it is to save a document and have it magically appear on any device connected to the internet.

On the subject of RIM's recent announcements, the company unveiled BlackBerry Tag, a way to share data between devices by physically touching them together.

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