updated 12:30 pm EDT, Fri October 7, 2011
RIM snaps up NewBay for cloud media services
RIM in a stealth acquisition has bought NewBay for $100 million. The deal will give it access to LifeCache, a service that lets users upload and share photos and videos. It also gives the BlackBerry creator Social Networking Gateway to help update from a central hub, also inlcuding photo and video services like Flickr and YouTube.
The deal is expected to keep NewBay in its home of Dublin and represent a rare step outside of North America for RIM.
Intentions for the acquisition weren't mentioned but may see RIM create a parallel, though not necessarily an equivalent, to cloud services like Apple's soon-to-launch iCloud or Google's more mobile-friendly equivalents. BlackBerry users can share media through individual services but don't have an official, central place to sync and share what they have.
RIM has been spending much of the past year or more trying to reinvent its platforms to appeal to regular people, not just the corporate world. The PlayBook is representative of this through its stronger emphasis on music and video, but most of its effort is poised to come with its next-generation phone platform.
The buyout strategy has lately taken a turn towards services that replicate iOS features. RIM recently took over JayCut to get on-device movie editing. [via Irish Times]