Is this a sign that RIM (oh it's Blackberry now) is phasing out the consumer hardware market and is going to desperately try and claw back the high security business market.
BlackBerry's hugely popular social-network-in-hardware BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) will be available on iPhone and Android for free from this summer. BBM is one of the defining features of the BlackBerry, a brilliantly designed social network that has earned the firm a compulsive following. For BBM's "members", the messenger is …
Seems pretty nuts to me, especially as they're doing it for free. All the kidz buy Blackberrys for BBM and nothing else.
Will many people buy a Blackberry just to have a keyboard?
Why would any chav buy a Blackberry now? They are killing a large part of their market. Blackberry have already been pushed into 4th place globally by Windows phone - This is just blasting another hole in the side of the sinking ship....
One problem they face....
On a Blackberry device, it was free to use on a Blackberry tarrif. I imagine thats why it was so popular in the first place. Are they going to negotiate with the providers to make it free on non-blackberry tarrifs? If their not, then it offers nothing over the established android/ios clients apart from communicating with their ever diminishing userbase. I doubt many people will switch tbh.
Opening to the network?
Might it be:
1) Give BBM for free (look at the birdie!)
2) Sell the secure stuffs (give us a mo' to port)
I'd call that a good hedging strategy. Keep the moneymaker shaking while hoping and praying that the hardware biz keeps a toe in another door.
When your real competition for four-ish-ness is Nokia, go with your strengths (being anyone but Nokia, to start).
The tipping point...
I can see why they have done it... but seriously most people i know who had bb were peoples kids and only because they could use bbm... its going to be really interesting to see how this one plays out...!
Next for the iMessages to consolidate seamlessly with BBM and then we will have consolidated messaging instead of hard boundaries. Then the lowest common denominator - SMS can go quietly.
Yum tum yummy tum hey
A few years too late
Had they done this early enough that it caught on before iMessage came out, maybe it would have had a chance of becoming a cross platform standard. But now? There are how many ways available to send text messages without using SMS? What is the draw for one more?
Seems like the only market is for that small number of people who want to switch from Blackberry to iOS/Android but can't bear the thought of giving up BBM. All those who abandoned Blackberry long ago have no reason to turn back the clock and start using BBM again.
iOS/Android BES10 Secure Work Spaces
I suspect that once the work was done to allow iOS and Android devices talk to Blackberry's SRP infrastructure, it was a trivial issue to slap in a UI on top of the transport stuff and thereby create a BBM app.