RIM has acquired Canada-based startup TinyHippos, as the firm continues to strengthen its development resources ahead of the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
TinyHippos specialises in web and mobile widget development, and the company's key asset is the Ripple mobile environment emulator.
"We have been integrating support for web technologies like HTML5 and BlackBerry WebWorks into our developer platform, and working to continually deliver enhanced tools and frameworks to our developer community," said Tyler Lessard, vice president of global alliances and developer relations at RIM, on the BlackBerry Developer's Blog.
"We look forward to working with the team at TinyHippos to further provide a simplified and streamlined experience to our developers."
TinyHippos stated on its web site that customers will still be able to download Ripple, and that new features and support will continue to be provided.
One of the primary goals will be to bring Ripple support to the BlackBerry platform, the firm said in a statement.
The acquisition comes as RIM looks to build on a successful 2010, during which it shipped a record 52.3 million smartphones. The firm had a strong fourth quarter, shipping 14.9 million BlackBerrys during the period.
RIM reported income of $934m and total revenue of $5.56bn, but suggested that first-quarter revenue could fall to between $5.2bn and $5.6bn.
"This guidance range reflects a mix shift in handset towards lower average selling price products in the first quarter and an increased level of investment in research and development and sales and marketing related to our tablet and platform initiatives," the manufacturer noted.
RIM acknowledged that there could be disruption to its supply chain as a result of the earthquake in Japan.
The BlackBerry PlayBook is available for pre-order in the US, starting at $499 and will be available from 19 April.
RIM has yet to confirm UK release dates and pricing, but a second quarter international rollout is planned.
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