Blackberry maker Research In Motion announced Friday that its buying QNX Software Systems, an Ottawa-based company with technology that helps bring the Internet to cars.
QNX’s technology can be used to deliver wireless broadband services such as Internet radio, video-on-demand and navigation to vehicles.
RIM co-chief executive Mike Lazaridis said the acquisition will further link smartphones and in-vehicle entertainment systems.
“RIM is excited about the planned acquisition of QNX Software Systems and we look forward to ongoing collaboration between Harman, QNX and RIM to further integrate and enhance the user experience between smartphones and in-vehicle audio and infotainment systems,” Lazaridis said in a news release.
The acquisition will also add valuable intellectual property to RIM’s portfolio and value for supporting “certain announced product plans,” he said.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky estimated the takeout value of the acquisition at $150 million to $200 million and noted that Harman acquired QNX for $138 million in 2004.
“We see nominal short-term impact from the acquisition; RIM may be able to more tightly integrate BlackBerry with vehicle telematics,” Abramsky wrote in a research note.
Abramsky added that, longer term, RIM may be interested in combining QNX’s real-time operating system called Neutrino with its BlackBerry software platform to create “an efficient low-footprint platform for low-end and new form factor devices” such as inexpensive smartphones as well as computer tablets.
Last June, RIM acquired U.S.-based Dash Technology, known for its GPS and real-time traffic technology.