RIM buys The Astonishing Tribe

Big news in the design world this morning: The Astonishing Tribe -- see that clock up there, they did that, along with tons of other stuff you've never thought of and most recently some awesome live wallpapers -- has been purchased by RIM. That's right, BlackBerry might finally get a decent UI. From RIM's blog:

Today we are pleased to confirm plans for The Astonishing Tribe (TAT) team to join Research In Motion (RIM). We’re excited that the TAT team will be joining RIM and bringing their talent to the BlackBerry PlayBook and smartphone platforms.For those who don’t know, TAT is renowned for their innovative mobile user interface (UI) designs and has a long history of working with mobile and embedded technology. TAT focuses on delivering great user experiences, from a design, technology, and usability perspective. Their design technology is used today in a variety of industries including the consumer electronics and automotive sectors.

TAT on its blog said it will "honor our current agreements and service our existing customers." But how long before all the work goes to Waterloo? If you see RIM people smiling today, you'll know why. [RIM, TAT via CrackBerry]

Phil Nickinson