BBM to be available on Android and iOS soon
Oh deary me! If you are a Blackberry loyalist who has stuck with them through the lows of recent years then this news is sure to leave you upset! Last evening’s Blackberry Annual Live Conference 2013 brought to light the company’s plan to make BBM available to rival platforms Android and iOS.
BBM has remained exclusive to Blackberry users till now and is the one distinctive feature that made Blackberry handsets an appealing proposition despite the mushrooming of other mobile operating platforms. This announcement somewhat overshadows the unveiling of Blackberry’s new budget QWERTY phone the Q5. Less premium in terms of specs and build quality, the handset is aimed at driving the mass consumer market for Blackberry with its new BB10 platform. Experts have mentioned that there is significant opportunity for high quality low-cost Smartphones, something which is well epitomized by Blackberry’s latest offering.
Chief Executive Heins exclaimed that making BBM available on other mobile operating systems is a statement of confidence. BBM will be available for free and will start with messaging and other features like Video with Screen Share, BBM Voice, connected apps and the new BBM channels coming on later in a step to make it as fully functional as possible on the other platforms.
Is this is a wise business move or one that has been born out of desperation? Cross-platform messaging apps like Whatsapp have already eaten a lot into the consumer market so this might be a smart move to wrestle back a good percentage of users back to BBM. Let’s be honest with ourselves, BBM gives a much more seamless messaging and sharing experience as compared to competing apps so it has that instant advantage going for it. But at the same time, it might just tick off a sizeable majority of BBM users as the step might just take the uniqueness out of Blackberry since the bragging rights for BBM users will be non-existent then. As a result, what was supposed to be a smart business move might just end up playing into the hands of its rivals, giving them an unperceived advantage and further reducing the appeal of going for a Blackberry Smartphone..