VentureBeat reported today that RIM has yanked the popular chat application Kik off its BlackBerry phones AND wiped its hands of anything to do with the young company which is located next door in Waterloo. All with no reasonable explanation, according to Kik.
RIM's actions are surprising considering that Kik Interactive had worked closely with RIM’s engineers over almost two years. RIM executives had even used Kik’s beta version over the summer, and hadn’t expressed any concerns about it at that time, according to Kik chief executive Ted Livingston - himself a former RIM employee.
Could it be because RIM now sees Kik as a competitor to RIM’s own BlackBerry Messenger service?
According to Livingston, RIM’s final action came Friday, when RIM sent Kik an email informing it that RIM was severing all developer ties, including revoking RIM’s software development kit agreement with Kik, signing key agreement, AppWorld vendor agreement and push agreement.
Apparently RIM's concerns were around Kik's admitted breach of user privacy and the way its app drained battery life. Both issues that Livingstone addressed in recent updates.
But wait - CrackBerry.com just received an official statement from Research in Motion on Kik:
RIM became aware of a number of issues and customer concerns regarding the Kik app and service. Following discussions with Kik, the app was removed from BlackBerry App World on November 12. Upon further investigation, RIM concluded that Kik had breached contractual obligations. Based on the broad scope and seriousness of the issues and concerns, RIM terminated its agreements with Kik and withdrew RIM’s support for Kik’s service.
Ouch! Doesn't look like Kik will be allowed back into BlackBerry App World anytime soon.