The Competition: BlackBerry Browser Going WebKit via Torch Mobile?! is reporting that RIM has acquired Torch Mobile, makers of the WebKit-powered Iris mobile browser.

Apple-backed WebKit is the open-source rendering engine behind Mac Safari and Google Chrome, which isn't a very large segment, all told. Mobile WebKit, however, powers the portable world with the iPhone (and iPod touch) Safari, Google Android Chrome Lite, the Palm Pre/webOS browser, and some Nokia devices. Add BlackBerry to the mix and it pretty much looks like the mobile world vs. IE6 on Windows Phone -- strangely inverse the desktop landscape where IE dominates and Firefox brings up the rear. (FireFox's mobile Fennec browser is still in development).

It was just a couple weeks ago that RIM promised an iPhone-class browser from BlackBerry by next summer, and it looks like this might just give them one heckuva jumpstart in getting there.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.