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Rumor: BlackBerry Messenger Coming to iOS and Android?

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The latest rumor thrown in the mix by the BGR is that RIM is working on bringing their platform BlackBerry Messenger to other devices including iOS and Android. Who knows if this will ever see the light of day like their BlackBerry services that were supposed to run on Windows Mobile and Symbian but its an interesting twist. The new app is supposed to come to Android first since it is an open platform. It seems like RIM is trying to take back the mobile messaging title across all platforms from the startups that are trying to copy them.

Supposedly these cross platform BBM clients will only support a limited subset of BBMs features like chat and presence. Picture, file, and video sharing will be left to actual BlackBerry device. Supposedly RIM is toying with ideas for charging a one time fee or subscription for BBM on other platforms or even making it free. My advice is free is the best way to go but find a hook that will make users want to come to the BlackBerry.

Hopefully RIM executes on this nicely if the rumor is true. I have always said BBM could be the thing that makes RIM especially if they extend its features even to desktops.

14 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. When I first heard about this, I was almost outraged that RIM would share, arguably their best feature, with ‘the enemy.’ But after calming down and actually reading up on their reasoning it does make sense.

    I can see how RIM would be frustrated seeing so many BBM ripoffs out there that don’t come close to what they offer. RIM has a true diamond in the rough with BBM and if they can license it and open it up to other platforms in a pared down version, it could turn out very well for them IMO.

    I also agree that it should be free, but with some features that are BB exclusive. There may even be a few converts as a result, who come to BB for the full BBM experience.

    Now that I can breathe normally again :), I can see that this could work out nicely for RIM if executed properly.

  2. I had the same reaction as Jay when I saw that headline that they would dare share what makes having a BB wicked but it would just expand RIM’s reach to a lot bigger market

  3. BBM is the ONLY reason many people have a BlackBe4rry at all (especially the younger generation). Making this available elsewhere will cause a further drop in marketshare for them in the device market.

  4. Noooo this sucks 🙁

  5. I believe Ronen mentioned that RIM should do build a cross platform messenger in one of the posts some time back. Ronen mentioned it in context of those Kik posts (Too lazy to find the link :))

  6. Although this is all rumors, I think if it is true RIM just made a mistake. Darn, they were doing so well of late lol. Here is why I say that. I used to sell cellphones and there were three major reasons people bought BlackBerry over iPhone or lately Android. It had more variety of choices, price point for new smartphone users, and BBM. You open BBM up and now the sell rep has to try and sell the BlackBerry like other phones. That’s not to say they can’t cause I converted many customers between platforms (end of the day its my source of income so you don’t fight what a customer wants) but the difference is consumers already expect iPhone and lately Android as the easy to use phone. But when you tell them how cheap BBM is compared to text and tell them its for BB only they have a sense of exclusivity plus with the lower price point on entry BB and the variety its an easy sell. So I personally don’t believe it and if RIM wants to do this they need to wait till QNX phones have grabbed some positive review and their app market has improved. On a side not if they release BBM to other platform and not on the PlayBook that’s just not good business on RIM’s part. What better way to spread BBM to new consumers than through the PlayBook. But this is all rumor so I will hold my judgment until I see it. As a dedicated BB users I personally don’t want to see it shared.

  7. Definitely a good idea from RIM. As some have mentioned, this MAY be able to keep Blackberry relevant to the average consumer, though it may only be via BBM.

    I agree that it should be free, pay for full access.

    • And as a result, bbm is likely to be exposed and no longer a secure channel communication I suppose?

  8. If there is no recurring cost for these, like we pay now for our BlackBerry’s. Then I will be moving all my data services over to an iPhone and RIM will loose me as a customer.

  9. OK, I can see keeping SOME stuff exclusive to the BlackBerry platform BBM, but RIM is advertising the heck out of BBM as being hip and cool and everyone should be doing it. Put it out on iOS and Android in a limited way, people are gonna try it out and say “bah humbug”. Make it hip and cool on those platforms, and you grow the brand and encourage switching to BlackBerry for the additional features (like the new stuff we’re hearing comes to BBM with BlackBerry OS 6.1).

  10. Yes, I think this plan has some merit, but, it should be done when QNX phones have already been established in the market place. This way they have the double hook: the power of QNX combined with the communication of BBM.

  11. Nothing but a rumor to me. The only day I would believe it is when RIM makes the announcement for such a thing.
    Question: think of the google messenger (google talk), what does it do besides text on a computer or BlackBerry? Nothing…so what is RIM adding to the table? Again nothing…
    The biggest share goes to iPhone and I just don’t see that happening anytime soon…
    Just a rumor and it better stay that way.

  12. If they let the full features available for the other devices it think it would be very interesting and convenient. C’mon, BB is not for everyone. But if they all could be united with a great messenger service like BBM no matter what their device of choice is, it would be plain awesome. Now RIM just need to think of the packaging and the business model.

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