Well, we can say that it’s finally here BlackBerry announced that the BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) version for competitive Android and iOS platforms will be released in summer. It’s also interesting that nothing is said about the Windows Phone plarform.
What’s so interesting about this service? Roughly speaking, it’s about the same text messaging via data-connection (like iMessage or WhatsApp).
The only thing that previously it was available only for messaging among BlackBerry devices, and now users of other mobile platform will be able to install it too. Such a decision may be considered as a pretty brave one as previously this service was considered as some kind of exclusive for this platform and was counted on as a factor that can attract old BlackBerry users to a new platform. But looks like the company’s policy has changed.
According to the press-release published on the company’s web site first functions that will be available to users are instant text messaging and group chats. These will be introduced in summer and later on the company plans to introduce voice messaging, separate screen feature, and the platform of social cooperation.
Nevertheless, a couple of questions appear on this topic. First, and the most interesting one for me, is what BlackBerry gets in return for providing alternative platforms with its exclusive feature (or at least one of the few ones that differs this OS from others)?
Or maybe it’s a first step in the direction of splitting the company into two parts, one of which will be busy with supporting OS, services and apps while the other one will produce devices themselves? Second question is how this decision will influence BB devices sales? I can’t say that they sell like hot cakes. BlackBerry top-management claims that sales are good and even better than they expected (or, may be, their expectations were not very high), but still they’re far from Android or iPhone level.
Another very important question is whether Android and iOS users need another text messaging system? There’re already plenty of them at the market beginning from the native iPhone iMessage to cross-platform alternatives like WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messages, and many other which already have a lot of fans all around the world.
Also, take into consideration Google Hangouts a new messenger by Google that replaces Google Talk and is also available both for Android and iOS users. So a user has a really good choice when it comes to text messengers. Another problem for BlackBerry is that they have lost a considerable part of its old users who might use their new messenger. It means that the company needs to work up a market from the very beginning.
So in my opinion this decision by BlackBerry was at least dubious. It’s evident that the company tries to stay at the market and follow the latest trends but I’m not really sure that it will help them out.
About the Author: Eugene Rudenko
Eugene is a copywriter for IT company Intellectsoft (visit company’s site at http://www.intellectsoft.net/), one of the leading mobile app development companies in the UK and US.