BlackBerry closing down software design operations in Sweden

According to reports from Sweden, BlackBerry is closing down its software design operations in Sweden, a business that grew out of its acquisition of The Astonoshing Tribe (TAT) in 2010.

Financial newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reports that BlackBerry will be letting go just over 150 employees: 93 in Malmö and 60 in Gothenburg.

Assuming the numbers are accurate, it’s not clear what operations will be affected, and where that work will shift.

BlackBerry’s acquisition of TAT for SEK800,000 (about $92 million) brought great expectations for BlackBerry. The Swedish design firm was a team that was well known in the mobile industry for designing gorgeous user interfaces.

BlackBerry bought TAT in part to work on the UI for the PlayBook tablet, but more importantly to lend design expertise for the then upcoming BlackBerry 10 UI.

Less than two years later, as the team was hard at work on the BlackBerry 10 UI, TAT founder Hampus Jakobsson jumped ship to start a new company — and was followed in 2013 by  seven of the original TAT members leaving BlackBerry to found TOPP.

BlackBerry 10 never really showed any of the ingenuity that the TAT team were well known for.