RIM ‘Chalks’ Up $19M For Content Delivery Company

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) announced plans late last week to dish out $19 million for the acquisition of Vancouver-based mobile application provider Chalk Media.

In a move to profit off the fast-growing mobile advertising market and remain afloat in the highly competitive smart phone market, RIM will add Chalk’s mobile content deployment system to its suite of mobile offerings.

Remember Mobile Chalkboard? It got everyone’s attention at the WES in 2007. It lets enterprise users create and deliver multimedia content to all BlackBerry devices, like the Storm, Bold, Curve and Pearl. The Content could be audio and/or video static slides, that could include voiceovers and animation. Chalk’s application is widely used in corporate training for telecommuters. However Mobile Chalkboard can also push any type of enterprise media to numerous devices. This could mean that mobile marketing messages will be served up in a whole new way. Eventually this technology might be used for commercial media, ads and all.

The acquisition allows BlackBerry to not only match Apple’s iPhone offerings, but potentially to leap frog the competitor. Chalk’s technology makes multi-media transfers larger than 50 MB possible over the air where iPhone currently needs chords to transfer the same files.

BlackBerry is fighting hard for a long-term match with Apple, with its recent release of the BlackBerry Storm. It’s first major counterattack at the iPhone: the BlackBerry Storm is a touch screen device that allows users to take pictures, play movies and music and visit social networks with ease.

Smartphones account for 12.6 per cent of handsets in use in the US market but 19 percent of recently acquired phones, according to Nielsen Mobile. According to the NPD Group, the Apple gadget was the top-selling phone in the third-quarter, followed by Motorola’s Razr and the Blackberry Curve.