RIM’s recent acquisition of DataViz, the makers of Documents to Go, has been confirmed with an official statement to cnet. The statement reads:
“RIM has acquired some of the assets of DataViz and hired the majority of its employees to focus on supporting the BlackBerry platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the transaction was not material to RIM in the context of RIM’s financial results.”
The terms of the purchase were not disclosed because DataViz was purchased for a rumored $50 million cash. There could be a few explanations based on market factors and what we’ve been seeing in the rumor mill that would lead to RIM acquiring DataViz. They are as follows:
1. BlackPad Office Suite: Rumor has it that RIM will be launching a BlackBerry tablet in November, the BlackPad, and they’re going to need an office suite to compete with Google Docs and Apple’s iWork.
2. Free and Native Documents to Go: Documents to Go has come preloaded for some time now and there has always been an option to upgrade to the premium versions. Now, we’ll hopefully see a full suite of office tools free for every BlackBerry user (a $20 savings for all!).
3. Stagnate the Competition – DataViz makes an office suite for a variety of other platforms and shortly after RIM’s purchase the company announced that they would be halting development on Palm’s Documents to Go. The BlackBerry platform will clearly be priority number 1.
RIM seems to be acquiring companies to push itself further into the consumer market and DataViz is a pretty solid acquisition. Up next, RIM will hopefully acquire a music service to rival iTunes and the iPod experience. Too many consumer BlackBerry users have both a BlackBerry and an iPod.