BBM has a real shot at consolidating the global mobile messaging market

By Chris Umiastowski on 21 May 2013 04:12 pm EDT

So BlackBerry Messenger is finally going cross platform, eh? For quite some time now most of you at CrackBerry Nation have believed this should happen. In fact during 2010 (when the stock was still around $60), CrackBerry ran a poll asking you all if the company should take BBM cross platform.

Guess what?  A whopping 71% of you said yes, it should go cross platform. Our own fearless leader, Kevin, is clearly on record saying BBM should be opened up. Here’s what he wrote in November 2010:

”So should RIM do it? Personally, I think they should. I get the reasons why they wouldn't. RIM makes money from selling smartphones, and right now BlackBerry Messenger is one of those hooks that keeps people on BlackBerry and actually attracts some people to BlackBerry (I've heard stories from carrier reps where individuals walk into the store and ask for the phone that does BBM). But I don't think this reasoning holds up long-term. As soon as a cross-platform BBM-style client emerges in the smartphone space and attains critical mass (ie. Kik or another), even if not as fully-featured as BlackBerry Messenger the hook of BBM starts to diminish.“

Almost two years later, in October 2012, I wrote a piece talking about the same thing, having come to the same conclusion. The only difference between 2010 and 2012 was the competing messenger that prompted the discussion. In 2010 it was Kik. And perhaps because Kik didn’t gain enough momentum, the BlackBerry folks dismissed it. But in 2012 we saw big growth from WhatsApp. And perhaps this is what finally caused management to get on board with the idea of opening up BBM.

Side story here - last week I was in St Maarten on vacation for my brother-in-law’s destination wedding. I was sad to miss BlackBerry Live, but hey ... I had a great time in the sun with my family. I bring this up because the last two times I’ve been in the Caribbean (Dominican Republic in March and St Maarten last week), I’ve noticed that BlackBerry is dominant.  But when you ask locals what apps they use on the device, WhatsApp gets mentioned a fair bit. 

Anecdotal evidence tells me WhatsApp has been growing over the last 6 months while BBM has not. BlackBerry has used the same “60 million users” metric during that time. The company needs to grow BBM. Inviting iOS and Android to the party is the best way to make this happen.

The folks who don’t think BlackBerry should open up BBM tend to focus on the singular argument against doing so.  There is a risk that some BlackBerry users will switch to iPhone or Android if they know they won’t lose their BBM contacts. That’s absolutely true. But I think that risk is pretty small. People’s BBM contact lists have already been shrinking in markets like Canada and the US, and I think those who were going to leave the platform have already done so. 

And there are many good reasons to open up the platform. Most importantly, I think that the world of mobile messaging is in need of consolidation. There are too many players and none of the alternatives to BBM appear to be as reliable.

Take this comment from CrackBerry reader T_C, “Before saying anything else, I have to say that I hate WhatsApp, It just lags a lot. And no matter how good WhatsApp is, if BBM goes on other platforms, it will kill WhatsApp instantly, I'm pretty much sure of that.”  If BBM on iOS and Android is responsive, I think this comment makes a ton of sense.  BlackBerry has a chance to consolidate this market and be the #1 player in mobile IM.

Before saying anything else, I have to say that I hate WhatsApp, It just lags a lot. And no matter how good WhatsApp is, if BBM goes on other platforms, it will kill WhatsApp instantly, I'm pretty much sure of that T_C, CB Member

What happens then? Vertical integration in various market.  Consider the healthcare market.  Doctors and nurses are communicating with their mobile devices and hospitals need to make sure that this communication is secure.  if BBM can be this secure communication, operating over BES 10 infrastructure, then opening up BBM creates a huge monetization opportunity for the company’s enterprise software & services.

BlackBerry Messenger has a chance to become the #1 consumer messaging app and the #1 secure enterprise messaging app. But to do this it needs to be open. It needs to exist on iOS and Android.

BBM Channels is also a clever way to expand people’s interest in the app, and offers up something that WhatsApp, Kik and other messaging apps don’t have. Again, if BBM is efficient and responsive on iOS and Android, I think it starts growing quite quickly. 

If the BBM user base can grow tremendously by non-BlackBerry users, then I think there exists a real possibility that people consider BlackBerry hardware for their next device upgrade. The BBM experience is always going to be better on a BlackBerry, and the new features will always land on BlackBerry first.

Yet I still see the risk this poses in the short term in emerging markets.  As CrackBerry reader sk8er_tor said in the last post on this topic, “I actually like that idea [of cross-platform BBM] but it only works in the US. I think having BBM on other platforms outside the US would have hurt sales drastically...”

I understand that risk. I mean I don’t think I can quantify it, but I conceptually get the argument and think it may be correct.  And so in the short term it’s possible the emerging markets users could be tempted to move to cheap Android handsets if they knew they’d be able to keep using BBM.  Perhaps this is why BlackBerry waited to make the move until it had the low cost Q5 device ready to launch. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the Q5 hits the market around the same time as BBM hits other platforms.

What do you think, CrackBerry Nation? Let us know in the comments. Do you agree with what BlackBerry is doing?  Do you think it’s too little too late? Do you see other risks or opportunities that we haven’t yet discussed?  Chime in.

Topics: BBM Editorial

Reader comments

BBM has a real shot at consolidating the global mobile messaging market


Great article Chris, like always!

RIM is one step closer to adopting the software and services model, just like IBM did.

If you have been following my analysis for the past years now, you know that I am a big proponent of RIM adopting the SAS model. I would have never of thought that IBM would cease production of personal computers, that is why it is hard to imagine RIM not making smartphones anymore. But I think this is the path to success for the company. Shed the part of the company that you know will not be able to make you money, and that is hardware. IBM sold their PC business to Lenovo, did they look into the future? Maybe, because the future included drastically lower PC prices and sales year over year. HP was hit by this, Dell, etc.

RIM launched a platform that is ahead of its years, BlackBerry 10. iOS and Android don't even compare to what BlackBerry 10 can do and how advanced BlackBerry 10 is. RIM used the launch of the Z10 and Q10 to launch this platform, in the meantime they will make money off hardware as their ASPs are high. But this will slowly disappear. There is very little money to be made in hardware. Mainly due to vertically integrated competitors. RIM can't produce a smartphone for $50. They can't! That is a fact!

Open BBM to others platforms, get people hooked on BBM and slowing hooked on BlackBerry 10. There are many ways they can make money off BlackBerry 10 if that is through licensing, patents, partnerships, etc. Hardware manufacturers that can make money off smartphones because they are heavily vertically integrated like Samsung, will be in a position to make BlackBerry a lot of money by adopting their OS.

There is a bright future for RIM/BlackBerry, but that future does not involve being a original equipment manufacturer of smartphones. The future involves being a leader in mobile software and services, with a powerful, secure and innovative platform which includes services like BBM.

For more analysis follow me on Twitter: @SurrealCivic

or join the BBRY BBM CHANNEL: C00095313

Hey, I agree with what you are saying that BlackBerry is trending towards the path of IBM but I think IBM and BB are in different situations when it comes to hardware.

Right now, Android is the big player in open OS and if BB were to eventually sell the Hardware business they would need to make money through licensing their OS or increase Enterprise software situation. For hardware manufactures, you would need to choose between the two. We know that Android is updated with a major OS update on an annual basis (or bit longer) and is still free (don't know if that will change). BB10 right now doesn't have the luxury of assuring manufacturers that they will be able to update on a consistent basis. I think BB can do this later down the road when BB10 has matured.

I agree with you that BlackBerry should focus on SAS and bb10 is definitely ahead of the game in certain ways but this is why they can command higher prices for hardware. You want peek, flow, hub and mutitasking? your wallet wide because there's nothing like it out there.

They are making 40%+ margins on hardware, why should they exit this business? Watch the asp numbers on June 28, they will soar!!

Posted via CB10

Thinking about this. I think I might have changed my position slightly on the risk this posed in Emerging markets. I initially thought that a lot of users defecting to other platforms in Emerging markets would be a possibility or bad thing however:

I pose the question...

Does it really matter if they defect?

Stay with me here :). Ok so in Emerging markets, BlackBerry currently makes money from from BIS (which is eventually going away) and also from device sales. I'm not sure what the margins are currently on older devices (curves, bolds etc) but once BlackBerry has got your money, they can no longer get it i.e. You only buy a specific device once. But since BIS is a "service" it continually generates revenue regardless of if you change your device or not. Point here is a service is a continuous income stream.

So my argument goes like this; If BlackBerry is able to offer services through BBM and by going crossplatform is able to get ALL users on ALL platforms, regardless of device, using these services and generating cash for BlackBerry (be it through advertising in channels, more downloads of Music and apps from the BlackBerry world, etc) and if this revenue PER USER is more than that generated PER USER in an emerging market that switches to android, then BlackBerry really has no problem here. Providing services to users and/or corporates and generating dollars from this through advertising, etc gives you a continuous income stream rather than single device sales. Unless the margins per device is pretty high and you can shift a lot of them. But let's face it, BlackBerry isn't going to shift as many phones as apple does.

Even if users switch devices and are still using BBM, the revenue that this will generate from the service is still there.

The reason why I think this is feasible is the FaceBook example. FaceBook really doesn't manufacture anything. I mean it manufactures nothing at all! However, because of they way they have been able to monitise their service through advertising dollars, they are one of the largest companies in the world.

This argument only holds if BlackBerry is able to effectively monitise BBM on all platforms. But I'm sure they have thought of this. Lets face it, a publicly traded company will rarely give anything away for free unless it will generate income for them down the road.

National Rail Times App for BB10 (Q10 and Z10) -

I think there is money to be made in hardware. It is on the high-end hardware (Samsung S4 for 10M). If you think about it, the hardware costs itself is not the issue but their operating costs.
The service and software depend on the size of market. The question how big is the market for their services.

On 10 billion of sales, they made 3 billion in profit (gross) but they hit the loss because of operating profit. If you compare the HTC's operating costs, you will see they can really cut their operating costs by another billion or so.

I do not agree at all. There is profits to be made in hardware.
They made 40% + on hardware but they are losing money because their operating profits are high. If you compare it to HTC's operating costs, you could make Blackberry cut another billion on SG&A expenses.

You can make profit in high-end smartphones. Samsung S4 sold 10 million so around ASP of 500 is around 5 billion. You could make gross profit about 20% to 40%. Which is about 1 to 2 billion in gross profit

You need to realize the services they are providing. How big the market will it be? How much profits can they make from it?

I would like to see if you can make projections how they would compete with Whatsapp
They have 200 million users so they are charging a buck for it
200 million dollars in revenue = gross margin for software is high so about 50%
100 million in profit
You need to show me in numbers where you are making your claims
Business models they need to follow to create billions of dollars in revenue

FaceBook. They manufacture nothing at all however yet they make billions in advertising revenue and they give their services away for free to end users (well most of their services anyway). That's an example at the top end but one nonetheless.

Yes I agree that you can make money on hardware. But let's face it, BlackBerry isn't going to shift as many devices as Apple and/or Samsung. Hence they will never make as much money from hardware as these competitors even if the margins for BlackBerry 10 devices are higher than BBOS ones.

I believe service revenue streams are the way to go eventually. Although they should obviously not kill off their hardware business in the short to medium term as well.

The key is to effectively monitise BBM. And I guess we're still all in the dark as to how they are going to do this for now. But I suspect that more information will come out as time goes on.

National Rail Times App for BB10 (Q10 and Z10) -

I genuinely believe that Blackberry can do better than Samsung. I think Blackberry can be more innovative but they are stuck with engineer focused on the science rather than the products. I think Blackberry has Mike (genius) but he needs to focus his time on pushing boundaries what a smartphone can do rather than talking about the keyboard all the time.

The argument you've made makes sense and I look forward to seeing bbm on other platforms

Posted via CB10

I understand the long term prospects of this move and thus think it is a good idea.
However, what I don't have a grasp of is whether or not they can scale their operations to handle the new amounts of traffic? (Making an assumption that it takes off on other platforms).

I am with you on this one... will the current infrastructure be able to accommodate for this type of addition...
imagine everyone coming on board and then the servers go down again like last time.. then it would be something that they won't be able to recover from. Not trying to be a troll.. but something to be looking out for

Posted via CB10 on the Z10

I may be wrong on this, but since BIS is being phased out, the data isn't going through BlackBerry servers. Or, if it is, with the other services being reduced off BIS, there should be plenty of room. Am I right or wrong with this thinking?

Posted via CB10

I agree it's a good move, and I've already set up channels for more store, can't wait for consumers and customers to have access.

Posted via CB10 - FinalD_WPG - C00016D82

I think we'll see major changes to instant messaging as a whole. BlackBerry is going to apply a lot of pressure on WhatsApp and Microsoft (Skype) to continue to improve their services now that they don't have the cross-platform connectivity feature over BBM. This announcement alone almost completely makes iMessage obsolete in its current iteration, and if BlackBerry rolls out FREE wifi calling on the other platforms then Skype has to find a way to keep a competitive edge.

Posted via CB10 & loving it!

I will say though that it won't go unnoticed that BlackBerry has chosen not to extend BBM to WP8. I'm sure it's very intentional and a way for them to appeal to users from other platforms while still maintaining that they're the better choice for 3rd place.

Posted via CB10 & loving it!

First off...Bang On Chris. As usual, your points make perfect sense. 00stryder, I agree whole heartedly, I think this move puts a significant amount of pressure on WhatsApp and MS(Skype) to continue to innovate. It makes you wonder if MS had an inkling of what was coming down the pipe and pushed to have Skype ported from Android to take advantage of the current vacuum in the cross-platform messaging space on BB10 to try and grab some of the market and get in before BBM goes live...not sure if that makes a whole lot of sense, but just my $0.02

+1. It seems Microsoft knew something was coming down the pipeline given the beta status of their app, as if they're testing it out (lol remember those beta device commercials last year?) before committing to a native app. Which isn't a bad idea, and a welcomed improvement over dismissing the platform altogether. If anything, if your theory is true, it suggests that Microsoft respects BlackBerry and BBM as a legitimate contender for Skype in the mobile arena.

Posted via CB10 & loving it!

Hangouts has been a dream for me. I use my desktop during the day and pick up right where I left off when I leave work on my S3. Plus, they are soon going to introduce text integration which will be huge.

Good post as always, Umi.

Couple things to add from my side....

1) Timing - At BlackBerry Live I asked a few people about the timing, and if BlackBerry could have gone cross-platform sooner. The response I got here on more than one occassion was that they needed the new platform (BB10 on BB I guess), in order to do it proper and deliver a good experience. Not exactly sure why that's the case... just relaying the info.

2) The Trojan Horse - The best thing I love about BBM going cross platform, is that it will put BlackBerry onto competitor handsets. Nobody I know loves Whatsapp. Everybody just tolerates it. And yet, it's always at the top of the download lists on different app stores. I think BBM is a better experience. People love BBM. It will be free. And the switching costs are not so high. If somebody built a better Facebook tomorrow, a billion people wouldn't switch. But the way app stores work, I think you could see things switch pretty darn fast. And if people aren't going to own a BlackBerry, I'd rather them at least see BBM on their phones. And just think.. you'll need to create a BBID to use BBM (on another platform - that's BlackBerry collecting email addresses / accounts), and that creates a database to market to when you have hot new BlackBerry phones and products to advertise down the road. It's a trojan horse.

3) Don't underestimate messaging - With Google's Mobile Hangout stuff last week, there's quite a bit of chatter around that. But the thing is, it's kind of complicated for a basic messaging experience (at least from what I've played with it so far). The brilliance of BBM / WhatsApp, etc is that they really keep things simple and you can power communicate. So just as Whatsapp is doing well now, I wouldn't dismiss BBM here. It's a more direct head to head comparison, but BBM is more reliable, has more features, etc.  There's a lot of competition in the space for sure, but I think BBM will pick up a good following on other platforms once its out. Time will tell, but this time next year I hope we see the number of BBM users grow by 2 or three times what it is now. 


WhatsApp is not the point here. Viber is the point, going even stronger with their recent desktop version. All my friends are on Viber, I do not see BBM persuading them to convert.

When you think of timing I think you need to see BBM going cross-platform almost simultaneously with the roll out of BES10 10.1 and the ability to manage IOS and Android devices within a secure business environment. If I understand the sequence correctly, basic BBM features and Apple/Android apps will be available at about the same time as their software for running those devices is released. BlackBerry has also stated that it plans on bringing voice, video and screen sharing capabilities to these devices by the end of the year. That is roughly the timetable that BlackBerry sees as being the timetable for significant enterprise adoption of BES10.1. And BlackBerry is making available in select markets the mid-range Q5 which could be used as a mid-tier device in many companies. Then there's that spiffy new video that was produced which highlights QNX stability and strength. I'm not sure it would wow the teenage and student crowd but it definitely will play well with the business community which requires stability and security in its communications. Finally, there's the link back to the consumer market - BlackBerry Balance and BBM channels.

There you have a roadmap forward. It's more enterprise based but perhaps that's the back door that BlackBerry needs to grow their service revenue and their client/customer base. I'm not sure if the company is thinking of strategy this way but I wouldn't put it passed them. And by the way, I doubt this process only started with the current CEO. I bet it started well before that when a couple of other guys were in charge..

As mentioned in an earlier post they wanted to make that move with the new platform - QNX operated BB10. However, you are right about that 'wow' factor for teenagers. As I mentioned in a post this strategy will play heaving on thriving emerging markets and corporate organizations. Teenagers do not care about how they spend their parents money. Teenagers wants what's in at the moment. To win teenagers, BlackBerry would have to make a device that entertainment based. Super fast (probably double the speed of the Z10), slightly larger screen with possibly higher resolution, higher storage capacity and app world to provide that slight educational advantage.

Back to the corporate rollout of this application - security is the key function for most organizations. The next big thing for BBM is having it deployed on desktops even though BlackBerry is not considering MS devices as the competition. But looking at it from a QNX perspective, it makes a whole lot of dollars and cents(sense).

More Storage? How much more do you need on a phone. 80 plus gig is not enough? Also speed? The z10 is fast and hardware efficient. As for teenagers, they mainly like to take pictures and socialize. Teenagers who have tried my son's z10 are considering it as their next phone. They are mainly iphone users. It's not games they want so much as they prefer ps3 and X box type levels.

Posted via CB10

@Playbook007, I am a BlackBerry fanatic and user through and through. Kids of today want more and will always want more than the average mobile user and what their parents provide. A few suggestions to entice a different market won't hurt.
Trust me, I own a Z10 and the device is simply magnificent, awesome; the flow feature is truly fluid. It simply flows...
Probably BlackBerry should look to selling the platform to HTC since they are not doing too great with Android.

Hey Kevin, In reply to 1) based on what I've heard through BlackBerry grapevine I believe that BlackBerry needed to test the stability of bbm on qnx (no longer using BIS aka similar to iOS and Android) before being able to provide a compelling experience cross platform. With that said a colleague of mine working closely with BlackBerry reps (we both work for Telus higher up) in general bb10 and the like (PB OS) are still in the early stages of bringing a feature rich user experience to the new devices and that essentially the z10, q10 and q5 are testing qnx stability on a larger scale. They have a large staff working tirelessly day and night since qnx acquisition to bring features to bb10 comparable or better than the latest Android/Samsung. Take it with a grain of salt but if this holds true Thorsten and Co. have some exciting things in the pipeline!

Point #2 is well in effect. The advertising on the scalability of BlackBerry's Portfolio of products is going to eventually push sale into overdrive. BBM has the capability of putting all the functions of other messaging apps into 1.

Whatsapp is not all that great and the only reason why I use it - to communicate with non-BB users for free regardless of not paying for mobile to mobile text messaging. But with BBM going cross platform and having the power to consolidate the features of all other messaging apps out there we will eventually see the likes of whatsapp and snapchat gone.

Hangout is a bust. Like you mentioned, it is too complicated for the average user. In addition, Google is trying too hard, too fast to build a portfoliio of products. Take the Google glasses... that product is just going to raise personal expenses. Try driving while wearing that glasses once it hits market. The amount of fines people are to cop. YIKES!! We already pay over AU $300 if caught with a mobile device in hand while driving or even stationed much less for the glasses.

Regarding the timing, they needed a better value proposition. Not many people would use the app if it just offered IM, but now that BBM is starting to become a platform with services on top, it should draw more users in. BBM Channels had zero chance of success with brands, etc. if management had decided to keep BBM on BlackBerry only.

Not if it's going to pick and choose what platforms it's on. As much as crackberry users don't want to admit it, it's in 4th place now behind windows phone in the US. Plus there is still a large userbase of Symbian users in developing markets, infact it looks to be increasing. If BBM is going to be the great uniter, then it needs to cover all the bases.

No one cares about wp8. It is irrelevant at this point and why give people an option to buy windows phone when blackberry is fighting them for 3rd?

Lol, in case you missed it, WP8 sold a whopping 500 thousand handsets last quarter, and that includes dirt cheap Lumia phones by Nokia.

Glad to see a Z10 user in Ghana! Totally off-topic, but I had to comment (my display pic was taken in Accra).

Posted via CB10 & loving it!

I think it's the last major play they could make, so they made it. Good for headlines and attracts attention. We'll see how it plays out...

BBRY should realize messaging is not the main reason people buy cellphones anymore (let's not forget the fact Whatsapp and Viber outpaced BBM).. if a phone is not compatible with mainstream apps and a good (+13MP) camera, for the price asked, people are gonna choose other smartphones.. Plain and simple

It may not be the main reason, but the rest of your response is very subjective, thus the reasons people buy cellphones aren't that plain and simple. Personally, I don't need a +13mp camera and I can't think of 1 app that I need on my Z10, that I don't have (came from Android). People buy cellphones for many reasons, many of which are heavily marketed to them.

Some people might look for MP on the Camera, but some also look for the Apps and Ecosystem, some just do what they see their friends do, some look for the cheapest full touch screen phone they can get, others what their company forces them to use. Aren't you happy we have OPTIONS!!!??
Bring it on BlackBerry!! I am sure this BBM cross platform decision will pay off!!

I would've loved this idea a year ago.. Nowadays cross platform messaging is a given and BBRY is just catching up with last years' standards (MP, hardware, apps), while the rest (iOS and Android) keep going forward

My tuppence worth I've got a z10 I ain't going anywhere for next two years if I've got pals on BBM I BBM them if my ifone or Android chums I use whatsapp but it's not very good ,now that BBM is going cross platform my chums can use it and get their chums to use it. Surely a win win for all!!

your articles are always so amazing such a great read love it Chris

I fully agree with BBM being cross platform the problem right now is mind share of the company so many people believe it to be dead that it cant push forward, this will assist them in getting mind share to help increase the real market share of their devices.

Unless there is something bigger planned or there is exclusive features available to you bbry models only. A product must be unique in its own way to set it apart from everybody else if not people will invariably go with the product that is selling at the cheaper price.

Posted via CB10

I hear that argument all the time. It says: "now all those last remaining BBRY users loose the last thing chains them to the platform".

I don't think so. As Chris already pointed out: the BBM contacts lists on NA BlackBerrys have already shrunken to the bottom for the most part. Whoever in a developed country is still buying a $600 BlackBerry doesn't do it solely for BBM. The other big part of the BBM userbase are people in emerging markets who go for low budget BBRY Curves. And even in these party of the world, like Africa or South-East Asia, people are also already migrating to other platforms while keeping a cheap BBRY Curve in their backpocket because they can't go without BBM. [b]But really: is it a sustainable business model to chain people in emerging markets to hardware you sell nearly at cost?[/b]

The truth behind this step is simply the following: we're at a point where BBRY has absolutely nothing to lose by opening up BBM, but everything to win.

Posted via CB10

I fall in the class that agrees with BBM going cross platform. In general, the timing is right. WIth BB10 coming later than we wanted, I think it is the best opportunity to move forward with opening up BBM. I honestly think having opened up BBM during the legacy OS, may have driven people away from BlackBerry devices quicker. As noted, being able to have a strong brand identity on competitor's devices, and possibly be that ultimate messaging experience should be a great boost to the brand. Who knows what BB has up their sleeves for channels...and other ways they may monetize BBM on the other platforms. Maybe certain features will be BB only? That could get messy though... We'll see!!!

Kevin said the number of BBM uses may double in a year.

I bet all my bbry shares ( that's quite a bit....) that the user base will be over 300 mil by year end. like you said the speed that apps spread especially free ones is faster than a virus !
So I'm pretty confident this will work as expected or far better than...
I just hope BlackBerry anticipates the tremendous amount of data that will have to handle with all the interconnectivity among the different platforms and we will have no brownouts or even blackouts in the service. That would be disastrous.

I also hope they will eventually turn it into a source of income one way or another...

Posted via CB10

If they want it to succeed then they will have to hurry, if they can manage to put it in the android market and ios and make it fully functional then they have a big chance :)

Posted via CB10

End of 2013 / beginning of 2014, WhatsApp will be a paid service. If BBM will be free for at least a few years (and hopefully forever) it has a good chance to be as successful as WhatsApp. I hope it's going to be a battle, where they both have to keep adding more functionality and a better design to keep their audience at their side. Competition is always good for the consumer and at this moment, BBM has the better hand. Although Facebook might interfere as the underdog, now they've made it possible to use free Voip through their app, next to Facebook Messages which of course is also a free servics..

Posted via CB10

Great writeup Chris. Regarding the low cost android argument, BlackBerry has said that BBM will run on Android devices supporting Ice Cream Sandwich, most low end sub $250 Android devices still run on Gingerbread so for these users it's going to be get a older BlackBerry Curve or pay up for a newer device.

Posted via CB10

BBM will be massively successful as a cross-platform app. It works so much better than anything else right now however, that's on BlackBerry branded hardware. Who knows what kind of shenanigans the other platforms may play behind the scenes to ensure BBM is unsuccessful. Look at the other platforms tax practices, seriously shady, meaning they could be equally shady regarding the success of BBM on their phones.

Posted via CB10

These people play games like that, so, there's no saying they won't continue to play games regarding BBM's success going cross platform.

Posted via CB10

I don't think that's an option; if their customers knew they were doing so from a competitive perspective then they'd have major backlash. Think about iTunes on Windows or Microsoft Office on Mac. Some battles aren't worth fighting.

Posted via CB10 & loving it!

There is no benefit to do this. I now can move to an iphone and keep my bbm groups and contacts, but also have every app I could ever want, need, or dream of and not have to worry about contacting devs. Horrible move by blackberry. Bbm channels is not going to make them money no matter how hard they try. What sense does it make for people to buy a blackberry when they can now get its best feature on every platform? Bbm will be a very successful messaging app, and it won't make blackberry a dime.

Are you from 2010? Since when has bbm been the best feature on BlackBerry? It hasn't been for a long time. Many users in the EU, US, Canada, etc already have 0 contacts, and they're the ones buying the best hardware that makes BlackBerry the most money. This was actually a very intelligent move and will improve BBRY mind share tremendously in the developed world. Whether that will translates to sales is a completely different topic, but it certainly won't hurt sales where they matter the most.

My wife will be getting iBBM as soon as it's available; we won't use WhatsApp and texting sucks compared to instant messaging! She does miss her BBM now that she's jumped ship. Will likely come back to BlackBerry on her next upgrade (only 2.5 years left on her contract! Is that too early to start counting down?).

Posted from my Z10 via CB10

It definitely make sense for BBM to go cross platform, having said that there are a couple of issues that many on Android and iOS look for that BBM doesn't offer.

1) SMS integration, for whatever reason (one that I personally don't understand) many users on those OS want the ability to send SMS using whatever messaging app they use.
2) Whatsapp taps into one's contact list and there's basically no need to set anything up, contacts in Whatsapp are self populated as long as they have the app installed. With BBM those users on other platform needs to get a BBID and ask their friends to sign up as well, it's simply not as easy to get started and build one's contact list in BBM.

No, your comment is absolutely useless. I'm relaying what I've been hearing and read from Android and iOS users.

You (nor I) don't have to agree with it, but let's face the facts here.

I personally prefer the way BBM does contacts. It's quite intrusive to have all your phone contacts on your BBM. I want privacy and don't need my mortgage broker or a contractor seeing my BBM name or status updates. Speaking of status updates, how come no one is speaking of status updates lol? This is a major advantage of BBM over whatsapp. The status updates list is one of the best aspects of BBM, such a great convo starter. On whatsapp you have to manually scroll your contact list to see status's and you don't know when they changed it. It's so static and un-social.

Whatsapp's method of showing when a message is read is horrible too. It shows your contacts the last time you were on whatsapp, hence you really have no way of dodging someone's message (I know I must sound shady haha). If I want to answer one friend right away, but don't want to "read" another's, I can't with whatsapp, because everyone sees when I was last on whatsapp. That's a major fail for a messaging app.

To all the people whining about how they will switch to iphone or android now, go for it! Most flakes have already abandoned BlackBerry. The die hards are really the only ppl who stuck with BlackBerry til now, and they're not going to switch. Having a dwindling bbm list almost made me consider switching, so this news couldn't be better. Like a poster said above, emerging markets have gingerbread droids, so they still need a BlackBerry to use BBM. The ones who can afford an iphone, probably already have an iphone and a curve just for BBM. So now they'll just get rid of their curve, which BlackBerry already got the $$ for and now will maintain them as a client thru BBM on their iphone.

That's the 2 main reasons me, my wife and others we know, don't use Whatsapp and family, there are too intrusive, we don't need all our contacts knowing we can chat, not always all your contacts are your "friends" or "home boys/girls",

I agree with you guys and don't like how intrusive Whatsapp is, but some people like the simplicity of it.

Remember that we're talking about Android users here, the majority of them couldn't care less about privacy, otherwise they wouldn't be on Android to begin with.

Great arguement Chris! I agree 100% this completely sways me that BBM should go cross platform without a doubt!
BlackBerry FTW!

Posted via BlackBerry z10

I have known a lot of people that left BlackBerry and came back because of the Z10 and first thing that they told me is "oh man how much i missed using bbm. There's nothing out there that compares to bbm" and here's my response to them, well coming this summer all the IOS and android users gonna know how good bbm is they will be able to understand why it's hard for us to give up bbm.

All said and done bbm rocks!

Posted via CB10

I think many are overestimating the power of BBM. No way it will surpass WhatsApp, yet alone Google Hangouts. To me this is just BRRY's attempt to make it relevant once again, in already crowded messaging arena, especially in markets like the U.S. when BBM was once very popular. But that was 3-5 years ago when there was nothing like it.

BBM might be the ideal choice if you're on BB10 since it will integrate nicely into the OS, but if you're on Android and iOS, what benefit does BBM really offer? In reality WhatsApp and BBM are pretty much the same (minus a few differences here and there) and you're lying to yourself if you say otherwise.

really, Whats App is a battery drain, web base, have no idea if messages been read. Anyway the BBM experience on my Z10 is just awesome with my 25 contacts( this list will grow ) file share, bbm voice , video and BBM channel will be the number one Social e-Commerce Enteprise Messenger app.

I'm still on the fence about this. I really enjoyed the article and the argument is certainly a good one, but I still have some doubts.

For one, we were told that BBM on iOS and Android would, eventually, reach feature parity with BBM on BlackBerry. What if the BBM on iOS and Android is just as good and stays as good on other platforms as it is on BlackBerry? It wouldn't help drive BlackBerry sales if that were the case.

And that raises my second point; will BBM really become that large of a factor for people to switch back to BlackBerry? Right now, BBM being exclusive to BlackBerry is a factor in whether people decide to switch to or stay with the platform. However, the factor BBM plays is dwindling and people are switching to and away from BB10 based more on other features. Once BBM goes cross-platform, will customers be willing to come to BlackBerry just because they'll get new BBM features before iOS and Android devices? To me, it doesn't seem like enough of an incentive. It may be for an entire BBM package, but once you have the knowledge that, at some point, your app will be the same thing, why switch?

I just really want this to play out well for BlackBerry. Everything will lie in the execution. BlackBerry's taking a big gamble and I realize why the company's doing this. I also see and am excited for what BBM could potentially become. I just hope that it's done correctly and that it ultimately works out.

The Z10 is my third, consecutive BlackBerry and BBM was never a selling point. I've always wanted to use it, but never did, mostly due to the lack of eligible contacts. I love the idea of being able to add more to BBM contact list, and that's something about cross-platform BBM I'm looking forward to.

BBM being cross platform just allows me to use it with more people, I have friends that want me to download whatsapp I tried and hated it. Like was previously stated people tolerate it. The larger the BBM community the more value it has to users of the service, I can't wait.

I think that bbm is no longer the draw to BlackBerry that it used to be because of the dwindling market share for BlackBerry. With BBM going cross platform I could see people going back to BlackBerry because BBM on other platforms will never be fully baked into the OS As it is in BB10 with the hub peek and flow.

Posted via CB10

I'm sure that an analysis has been carried out and highlighted the threats and opportunities for BBM being a cross platform service. What gets ne about WhatsApp is that it loses some contacts and then I need to add them again via SMS. So BBM being available for cross platform would be a good thing. The only application that will stand against it might be Viber because of their philosophy. I'm certainly looking forward of getting BBM across the platforms.

Chris, or anyone else. Did you see some response to the share price? Definitely exciting times ahead for BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

Increase awareness of the bb10 platform and possible more secured transaction of bbm money or push advertising.

Posted via CB10

With regards to the argument that you could jump ship to a platform that has better apps and still have BBM, I get that and I think Thor does too. This guy knows what he's doing and he wouldn't announce a move like this unless he had a contingency plan. All I'm saying is what has transpired for BlackBerry since the launch of BB10 is only the tip of the iceberg.

Posted via CB10

Whatsapp sucks. BBM doesn't. It's that simple. BBM has been the best IM experience of any IM, because it's mobile and not on a lame PC or Mac computer. Computers are now phones and phones are now computers. Let's kill the middle man now.

Posted via CB10

There is nothing but good that can come from this. Once computer access to BBM is added and simular services to Skype is added. BBM could become number in so many categories

BlackBerry should require a minimum Android OS of 4.0 for BBM so that they still have another year or two until they get pressured on the low-end android market. Yet they would still be in a position to dominate in the US and the UK.

(also they should support Windows Phone. They are leaving themselves open here for no good reason at all)

Correct me if I'm wrong but BES10 doesn't support WP8 so until that happens I doubt you'll see BBM on windows phone. BlackBerry is just doing what every other app developer does and is supporting platforms that have lots of users.

It's should be done. If BlackBarry implement and execute this move right, this will be the greatest marketing tool for the BlackBerry brand.

BlackBerry being number in anything means it is still relevant in today's market. It's also free marketing.

I agree with consolidating an Instant messaging service. Now, is definitely the time.

Posted via CB10

I did a small poll with 20 of my colleagues that use BlackBerry devices (from curves, torches to bolds). 80% agreed the only reason they have BlackBerry devices is because of BBM and BIS. I should mention that I am talking about South Africa, here the BlackBerry is the #1 selling smartphone and with BBM going cross-platform and BIS not available on BB10 not to mention the freezing story with legacy devices I see a lot of people migrating to other platforms.

People have lost trust in any BlackBerry product even when I try to explain that BB10 is a completely new beast. The other tough hurdle is legacy device users still on BIS are reluctant to adopt BB10 as our data prices are so ridiculous only BIS makes sense here.

Their only savior will be the Q5 and it must come at a reasonable price or BlackBerry will suffer.

My point is, if BBM goes cross-platform... The devices might suffer as people will still enjoy the best IM in other platforms.

The big question for me as soon as I heard the news was and still remains: how are they gonna make money off it? And pls don't tell me via handsets. There is no way in hell they will be getting people to leave iPhones, GS4s etc for a BB10 device. It just will never happen knowing they can get the ONLY part of blackberry that serves as a usp unto their phones for FREE. I know I won't. IMO this would just be a case of the android and iOS peeps saying "thanks....but no thanks" when they hit that download button (meaning we'll take the BBM app cus it's the best messaging app out there but no way we're buying your phone).

If cross platform BBM apps are coming with advertizing, like many other free apps ...this may retain former BlackBerry user not to switch to iPhone or Droid ...remain with BlackBerry if you don't want to be annoyed by advertizing.
Anyhow, going cross platform is something inevitable in long terms vision. It will definitively make no sense to keep going in the present direction where BlackBerry, Apple, Android users could communicate only with their pairs (BBM with BBM, Facetime with Facetime, ...). How could we imagine that all of our family, friends and co-workers to be on the same communication system …It's just not possible (unless one of the above main system get a monopole …which should never append).
Cross platform is the long term way to go. Too bad for Apple that are still trying to keep their services in a closed environment ( far almost the only reason for their present apparent security level).

I do not see BBM persuading my iOS and Android friends to leave Viber and WhatsApp (ordered by relevance) for BBM. In the Czech Republic, noone gives a woot about BlackBerry, so BBM not happening (as much as I would like to be wrong on this).

Who cares about this tiny market, really? Anyways, sooner or later your friends will end up on BBM, if they make it relevant on other platforms. Because if they do it will be well beyond a fierce competition to face for these two.

The only downside is the ceo makes claims he doesn't fulfill. So I'll believe it when I see it.

Posted via CB10

I have mixed feelings about this. I worry about emerging markets switching platforms, but it's up to Blackberry to give them reasons other than BBM to stay. The only area, IMO, that BB is currently behind in comparison with the other platforms is the app ecosystem. Hopefully, that changes soon, and folks that left will be back to enjoy the security of BB, fantastic keyboards, etc., while still having access to all the must-have apps.

Watch how many folks from other platforms will use it. No doubt this is a good move. I'm willing to bet everyone's bbm list won't shrink anymore. Now if they can remove that 6MB file xfer cap... or is that set at the carrier level? I think its a bbry cap, correct me if I'm wrong!
Also throw in an auto resume for file xfers too.

Blackberry, besides Q5, needs to come up with a mid to low tier all device right away to serve those who will move to android when BBM opens up... call it Z5 or something. This should be done urgently.

samsung is all ready going this way with chat on (bada OS) with chat,voip and video calling. They wanted to compete with WhatsApp. BBM Must also have all those options and with channel they have a good app. Blackberry will have a better app than whatsapp. Only with voip it starts good

Posted via CB10

I think the idea of cross platform BBM is great, as said it can only help BlackBery to strike with one of their best weapons. Sure it could affect some device sales, people who switch to other devices because they don't have the need to have BlackBerry devices for BBM, but like said in the article the BBM experience will always be the best on a BlackBerry device.
I have to admitt that I don't use much BBM, essentially because I don't have a lot of BBM contacts, very few friends who own a BlackBerry and even fewer who actually have a BIS on their Handheld devices. So I can't really make a good use of this aesome messaging platform. The only BBM contact that I have asked me to switch to Whatsapp x) So I think it will be usefull to a lot of people to finally get to use BBM to it's fullest !! Can't wait to BBM iPhone or Androiid contacts !

Great post! This is exactly the reason that I visit CrackBerry several times a day.

BBM going cross platform is great from a consumer/user perspective. Because we can now add all our friends from all other platforms.

I'll give you an example, I was travelling in Australia a few months ago (I'm originally from the UK) and I met someone from Singapore while I was there. We were both roaming on our numbers so the first thing she asked was "How do we keep in contact while we are in Australia because texting and phone calls are expensive while roaming? Do you have WhatsApp?". ( I was on my Z10 and she was on a Samsung Galaxy) This is exactly one of the scenarios that cross platform BBM would have come into its own. If BBM can own interactions like this, then it would definately have a surge in users. Imagine 2 users from completely different parts of the world in some other part of the world talking about and knowing about BBM and BlackBerry as a brand. The crossplatform conversation is currently dominated by WhatsApp. BBM on iOS and Android will kill this or at least increase the competition in this space which Is always a good thing.

However, from a BlackBerry perspective, they need to think of a way to actually monetise the growth in Customers when we go cross platform. I see channels as one avenue for doing this. Perhaps charging large brands to have channels and have a similar structure to FaceBook for charging, etc. This could potentially be a massive revenue stream! However, I'm not sure how they can do this because currently anyone can setup a channel for free.

Also, for apps! As a developer, we have hooks into the BBM API that enable us to change the user's BBM status message. If this is done by an application, in the user's status, their friends can see what application actually changed the message. This is similar to a "via" message in Twitter. For example, in the upcoming version of my app, National Rail Times, if the Application updates a user's BBM status message to "I'm on the 08:45 train from Waterloo to Egham due to arrive at 9:00", below this status message, the user's friends can see what app generated this message. Also, clicking this link takes the friend straight to BlackBerry world where they can download the app. When BBM goes crossplatfrom, it gives Developers like myself another way to showcase what great apps are already available on BlackBerry World. So it might make iOS and
Android users more likely to switch to BlackBerry.

These are definately exciting times for BlackBerry. I take comfort in the fact that these guys know what they are doing! The last 18 months have seen a great turnaround at the company. There have been some misteps along the way but overall nothing major and I can rest easy that the new management team have a good grasp on how to make this work, and more importantly turn this into a new revenue stream for BlackBerry.

National Rail Times App for BB10 (Q10 and Z10) -

I agree it wouldn't make sense to go cross platform if there was no Q5. But my belief is that the Q5 will be an excellent device (if it is even close to the Z10 we should BB should be safe). Why go to a cheap Android device if there is an excellent cheap Q5 right there with the keyboard you love? The only answer can be apps. BB is closing that gap quickly and hopefully by June it won't even be a major sticking point for people.

"BB is closing that gap quickly and hopefully by June it won't even be a major sticking point for people."

- A very kind wish that unfortunately won't come true. We need to face it and give BB the time.

- Actually, with Google announcing Android Studio the once narrowed app dev gap may widen again. BlackBerry must work really hard and smart to continue narrowing the app gap. I feel their current way of promoting BB app dev is not scalable. Hope BlackBerry has the conviction of this danger (no pun here; Android came form Danger) that could crush the company.

I guess it will be a great idea. Also allowing people on other platforms to buy their own PIN. That would be a great idea too. Actually I am using i5 and Z10. I guess that will be great for BB. Keep going and groing!

Posted via CB10

I told an iPhone user that BBM will soon be available to them, they actually got excited. And my nephew and friend that have an Android phone were also excited. I think this is a positive. It means exposure, the risk is well worth it.

Posted via CB10

I just hope that I can send Invites from my BBM to my contacts that are on iPhone/Androids, rather than hope they download from the app store. If that is the case, BBM will spread like wildfire!

For those who believe it will not surpass WhatsApp are so wrong. It will take a just a few months. Everyone that I know that have left to other platforms acknowledge the power of BBM. Ask yourself the same question for those that have had a smartphone for more than 5 years. It will crush the competition and it will become a cash machine in some way or another.

Posted via CB10

As a blackberry user, I think it's great. I hardly have any bbm contacts anymore, so that's certainly not why I bought a Z10.

I'd be interested to see a poll of Android and iPhone users to know how interested they would be in switching from Whatsapp (or imessage or whatever) to BBM. Hopefully they would be, especially if BBM can be made snappier than the current alternatives.

I think a lot of people forget to realise how far BBM has come along. BBM is now like Skype, Whatsapp, Facetime all rolled into one. Not only can you now make free voice calls but you can video chat with the option to screen share. There's now the addition of BBM channels and more. I personally prefer the option of having a contact identifiable by pin without giving out my personal phone number. However going cross platform I personally can't see what BBRY gains from such an arrangement. Yes more users can adopt this method of messaging/interacting. But at the end of the end of the day if this does not increase revenue or make you more dominant force in the market what is the point? Money Talks....

Posted via CB10

Let's put it this way: I've been loyal to BlackBerry (U.S.) while I've watched my BBM list shrink to 1 contact. I'll guess that most or all of those defectors are not coming back to BlackBerry, at least in the short term. It would be a lot more pleasant as a BlackBerry user to have that list grow again. It sure would make it easier to stay with BlackBerry because some of the disconnect I've felt the past few years might ease up a bit. Let's face it. Some people won't come back to BlackBerry because of virtual social applications. It's tough to carry around a BlackBerry and connect to the rest of the world in new and exciting ways. If BlackBerry can be are part of this virtual world it might help maintain some of the U.S. market, like me, as well.

Posted via CB10

Hey Chris, Excellent post as always. I never thought about vertical integration in terms of security. From what you have mentioned that could be a great selling feature for BBM, especially for people that need to send secure information within an organization and don't want to use pricey private email servers. Also, BB could leverage BB Balance as a way of having a personal and private BBM to convince companies to adopt BB10 handsets.

Be careful with enterprise use of BBM. BBM doesn't use BES although BBM traffic goes through RIM NOC. BBM traffic doesn't get to BES. For enterprise IM RIM has separate apps (e.g. Sametime, MS etc.) that use BES. Another issue is that BBM is prohibited in some organizations like banks, investment firms and government orgs due to compliance issues (they need to archive all communication trails). Actually BB Balance has an issue here. This is one of the reasons BES 10.1 have the "device for corporate only" IT policy.

RIM secures PIN to PIN messages by using group key exchange via BES. BlackBerry may figure out a way to secure group BBM without BES. You can think of many ways of doing this, the point is user experience.

Concerning the risk opening up BBM to other platforms poses in the short term in emerging markets. and how outside the US this would have hurt sales drastically.

When the next quarters' report comes out in about a months time, we'll see again how emerging market subscriber numbers have already been hurt by the existence of the cross platform mobile messaging services like WhatsApp and the availability of low cost Android phones to run it on. Opening up BBM to other platforms is not only necessary but it is also pretty late in the game to be getting around to it.

With 60mm users, 51mm of which are using heavily every day, I would think that cross platform gets huge fast. One might imagine that at least the 51mm have 3 to 4 contacts outside of BBM. Inviting them in would for sure see the numbers surpass 200mm users. And that is pretty conservative. The sooner the better.

If out of 10 friends, 4 have BBM and 6 have IOS and whatsapp. Which means each BBM user has 6 contacts on whatsapp. That doesnt mean 4x6 equals 24 users total.

Regardless of your flawed math your right to assume the numbers will get huge on BBM. If they do this fast, and good I wouldnt be surprised if they hit 200 million with just messaging and groups. 500 million can be reachable if they roll out all the functions asap.

Everything depends on execution. If they dont supply a GREAT iOS and Android app then people wont use it. The slightest F'up or stumble and people will be all over BB. The execution of this needs to be perfect .... absolutely perfect. And NO MORE OUTAGES !!!

What is the monetary upside. This is what it comes down to at the end of the day. They are giving the crown jewels away for free to build positive brand equity? That seems a bit risky to me. I haven't heard a single concrete way that this is going to generate profits for them from anyone yet.

look at it this way. Instagram, Whatsapp, Tumblr -- each valued or rumoured to be be valued over 1 BILLION dollars.

BBM with 50 million of users in Africa and Indonesia -- worthless.

BBM cross-platform with BBM Channels with 200 users in North America and Europe will be at least 2 Billion dollars. If sales of the hardware do not pick up or BB10 does not get any traction, BBM may be the only real asset that BBRY has left.

Great article. Even though it is a risky move, I do see the benefits long term. Yes BlackBerry will loose some customers when this happens (I know a few people in the Caribbean who can't wait for this to happen so they can switch) but like you mentioned they probably were already looking elsewhere. The hook will be BB10, it's in the early stages and already Stella plus it will only get better (hardware and software) so I'm going to be confident in this move. BBM has a great chance if implemented well on the other platforms to quickly squash the wannabes and reign supreme. That's just my thoughts.

Posted via CB10 - Channel Pin C00016D81

Great article. They should do it but should have done it 2-3 years ago. They will have to make something amazingly attractive to get people to switch. I have a few hundred contacts and most of them are on whatsapp. In my BBM contacts I have only 4 people!

Posted via CB10

The threat is no longer whatsapp but of the impending cross platform chat app wars between google, apple, microsoft and blackberry.

The only reason whatsapp got popular is because they have their app out first to all platforms. Google i/o announcement of Google hangouts coming out for iOS will damage bbm more in the longterm. Pretty much google is doing a preemptive attack to defend it's user base from switching to anything else.

So the easiest answer to this riddle is whoever gets it chat app to most platforms with the most features first will be the clear lead winner.

Whatsapp was an afterthought in convenience being at the right place at the right time but moving forward, their marketshare will peak this year and start losing users once bbm comes out this summer.

Posted via CB10

Look at Google Chris. Most of the chromium is open source, their business model is based on the "free for the customer " aren't they profitable? BBM is good, competitive and they are tons to do in the field. I mean take some time and look at the possibility of this platform. ergonomy is a key... but, If made properly, this should be awesome. Speed also... they must move fast.

Posted via CB10

MSN Messenger and Skype are cross platform, but has that affected Microsoft phone sales? I do believe that BBM is a superior product, but think that they should charge at least $.99 for the non blackberry client...perhaps $4.99 for iOS.

Posted via CB10

BBM going multi-platform, with all of its features, and with the ability to say call landlines and mobiles (like vonage), would demolish all other social media, voip and other communication apps... just saying!

Posted via CB10

Great article Chris : BBM Channel could be the next best Social e-Commerce Enterprise Messenger App. eg Eli Lilly BBM Channel , Abbott Labs BBM Channel, Wendys BBM Channel, High School Tutor Lessons BBM Channel , and Family Medicine Questions BBM Channel I think you get the point.

Personally I would of offered bbm cross platform on return for android and i phone apps..

Could be a risk, even the death of BlackBerry.

But I'm still BlackBerry till I die

Posted via CB10

Thinking about this. I think I might have changed my position slightly on the risk this posed in Emerging markets. I initially thought that a lot of users defecting to other platforms in Emerging markets would be a possibility or bad thing however:

I pose the question...

Does it really matter if they defect?

Stay with me here :). Ok so in Emerging markets, BlackBerry currently makes money from from BIS (which is eventually going away) and also from device sales. I'm not sure what the margins are currently on older devices (curves, bolds etc) but once BlackBerry has got your money, they can no longer get it i.e. You only buy a specific device once. But since BIS is a "service" it continually generates revenue regardless of if you change your device or not. Point here is a service is a continuous income stream.

So my argument goes like this; If BlackBerry is able to offer services through BBM and by going crossplatform is able to get ALL users on ALL platforms, regardless of device, using these services and generating cash for BlackBerry (be it through advertising in channels, more downloads of Music and apps from the BlackBerry world, etc) and if this revenue PER USER is more than that generated PER USER in an emerging market that switches to android, then BlackBerry really has no problem here. Providing services to users and/or corporates and generating dollars from this through advertising, etc gives you a continuous income stream rather than single device sales. Unless the margins per device is pretty high and you can shift a lot of them. But let's face it, BlackBerry isn't going to shift as many phones as apple does.

Even if users switch devices and are still using BBM, the revenue that this will generate from the service is still there.

The reason why I think this is feasible is the FaceBook example. FaceBook really doesn't make anything. I mean it makes nothing at all! However, because of they way they have been able to monitise their service through advertising dollars, they are one of the largest companies in the world.

This argument only holds if BlackBerry is able to effectively monitise BBM on all platforms. But I'm sure they have thought of this. Lets face it, a publicly traded company will rarely give anything away for free unless it will generate income for them down the road.

National Rail Times App for BB10 (Q10 and Z10) -

I was against the but after a 7 hour BBM Voice call with my GF who lives in Canada, I can attest to the robustness of BBM - I could never have a Voice chat for more than an hour on Skype as it's not resilient enough.
To all the detractors, give BlackBerry a fair crack of the whip.

Posted via CB10 from my Q10.

If BBM was cross platform when in had my torch I would have dumped it for an iphone. But i love bb10 so no way I am leaving now.

Posted via CB10

Good God, it's been so long about this... I'm happy to see bbm going cross platform. Many of my friends left blackberries for the iPhone and started using whatsapp virally but they really miss bbm. I bet they're going bbm as soon as it's available. As incredible as it sounds, they heard about bbm coming to iOS one way or another through the internet. And now that they've seen my Z10 are considering the brand once more!

Yes, BlackBerry has a shot. Just like I have a shot in winning the lottery one of these days. Ok mine is a really long shot but you get my point.

Posted via CB10

I think BlackBerry should have more phones that's cheaper like the Q5. If they have more phones in the market place then have a test run in the US with bbm cross platform before going international with the idea

Posted via CB10

My 13 year old who has a bold loves the idea. She had 70+ BBM contacts about a year + ago and is now down in the teens due to parents providing these kids with largely new android phones... even she said texting and what'sapp "sucks" in comparison and loves BBM. Me too... i'm going to push it even harder come June!

Posted via CB10 / Z10

Great decision for blackberry! Although this is just a piece of the challenge. Kevin mentions the whole marketing opportunity for BBM. The problem is blackberry world has nowhere near the quality of content. I find it really frustrating to purchase an application only to find out how terrible it is, the moment its downloaded!!!! It would be really nice to offer clients the option to instant refund a transaction. This would at least help flush out toxic apps that do nothing but frustrate the loyal client base.

Posted via CB10

OK'HERE'S THE DEAL!!! About 1and 1/2 years ago RIM hired JP Morgan in the states and the Royal Bank in Canada to make a strategic review for RIM.Pretty sure that they recommended BB leverage their assets,such as BBM.The strategy has been studied by these banks and it's going to be a successful turnaround for BB going forward.

I used say that BBM should never go cross-platform. Now I'm seeing things a little differently. I agree that this would be best as a U.S. only thing. To my knowledge it seems like texting is expensive in other countries making BBM a major hook for BlackBerry. There is a huge risk in going platform outside of North America.

Can't wait to see how this plays out.

With the new BB10 platform and the Z10 and Q10, I believe having BBM cross platform will be one of the strongest marketing tactics to gain new users, especially in areas where they've lost market share. (USA, Australia etc.) Even so it might have an opposite effect in strong BB markets (like Indonesia, India, etc...), but I believe the BB10 momentum and excitement can pull them through in those markets.

I think its a great Idea, should have been done long time ago.

I just hope they knock this one out of the park. Everybody will be watching, time to make some kick ass apps for IOS and android and FAST, dont leave these guys waiting around.

Ill do my part and convert every single one of my whatsapp and skype contacts, I wont take no for an answer. And add them to my dead BBM list.

WhatsApp sucks. I couldn't wait for cross-platform BBM so I can reconnect with family and friends who migrated to iOS and Android.
I think the cross-platform BBM is a smart move.

Posted via CB10

I agree with the decision to open up BBM. If users on iOS and Android can use BBM they will realize that it is heads and tails above WhatsApp! I have used WhatsApp for about 2 years and I know from experience that it is far from reliable. BBM can be the "hook " to lure new users to Team BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

As a nurse I completely disagree with the notion that were using Mobile devices to communicate patient data. In the United States there's such a thing as hip pa and you'd lose your license to PRACTICE if this was violated.
Now sure I see the odd doctor using an I pad but that's in a private practice not a hospital setting.

Everything else I agree with XD

Posted via CB10

They should have done this years ago. Like you mentioned Chris, it's an instant whatsapp killer!

Being truly open and cross-platform means supporting Windows Phone and bringing BBM clients to the desktop on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Then we will have a cross-platform system to challenge just about everyone - only missing out on the full monty because we don't yet have a gateway onto old-school copper wires like Skype...

Keep up the momentum but don't be like Netflix, support everybody!

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I'm surprised that everyone seems to think that having BBM go cross platform is all about phones. The way I see it, this is the first real step forward in Blackberry's 'mobile computing' strategy. Consider this.... QNX (now part of blackberry) is the software supplier for a number of automobile companies.... At one of the last big BlackBerry keynotes, they drove a car on stage and demonstrated how BBM could be integrated with the car's on board entertainment system to allow for voice and video calls to be made using BBM. Pretty cool, right? What's missing though? The fact that most people buying these cars do not own a blackberry and so have no ability to use this feature. Obvious solution? Make BBM available to everyone, regardless of the smartphone they use. The way I see this unfolding is that in the next year or two, any new car made that uses QNX software will have a BBM voice/video calling feature baked in. How many new cars are sold every year? If all of them come pre-programmed to interface with BBM you better believe it will be the next app the owner will download on their smart phone after buying their car. Combine with BBM channels and you now have advertising access to a large captive audience when their in their cars. I see the BlackBerry/QNX automotive link as the one truly unique advantage over Google and Apple. Forget what's app, forget viber... BBM going cross platform is about QNX software in the automotive world. This will be something that BlackBerry can advertise heavily and I think we'll see this strategy revealed shortly. It will make BBM the preferred messaging option once again.

No auto manufacturer will pre-program "BBM" to the exclusion of Apple or Google interoperativity. To do so would be suicide. QNX in cars is in "infotainment systems" and "telemetrics" neither of which has anything to do with BBM or BB10. QNX licenses their auto software through tier 1 auto suppliers like Delphi. Before Harman and RIM bought them, QNX's annual revenues were from 25-50 million, which is negligible. There are many competing infotainment and telemetric systems out there and the BBRY cannot leverage QNX to force auto manufacturers to use their BBRY products or apps. This talk of automotive is just fantasy and is not going anywhere.

I think BBM in BB Devices should be more advanced than other platforms to make other to change to BB.

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My take on this is that BlackBerry should have waited until the Q5 was out there long enough or at least for a month or so, so people could get a feel of the new OS and start talking about it. This would then show people that the new OS is nothing like that old and can actually be "Fun" to use.

So that's my only concern, that they are releasing it too early.

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It's great for consumers (bin Whatsapp), but why should the healthcare industry switch from Skype, which is just as secure and even more ubiquitous, to BBM?
Afaik, it's not possible to chat with your mobile workforce from a desktop computer when using BBM, but it's possible to do so via Skype.

And why would someone chatting via BBM consider switching platform? It's just one app among dozens they use. Half of which are not available on BB10. Would they really be willing to trade the awesome Google Maps for Channels on BBM?
It would certainly make it less of a burden to switch platform if you know that you won't lose your BBM contacts, but that's it.

I originally thought that the price of the Q5 was too high, but I think BlackBerry might get away with it as people using BlackBerrys solely for BBM can keep using older models. Wealthier consumers will buy the Q5 and the others will wait for the price to drop.

Sent from a Q10 with a crappy OLED screen

BBM will experience complete total domination within 3 months.

Then, BlackBerry can charge for some of the premium services if non blackberry users want the full package.


I'm sure that whats app valuation went from 2 billion dollars down to zero the moment blackberry announced that it was going cross platform.

Next, BlackBerry will kill twitter. If you have experienced channels, you will know what I mean.


I would at least put a price for about $1. They would have gain large mills from ishit and gaydroid users

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Maybe you don't but many were former BlackBerry users and miss BBM - apple knows this and will never approve of the app.

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The true, is that when Whatsapp said users will pay after 1 year of service, a lot of ppl will migrate to other FREE options, That's why BBM will go to Android and iOS as FREE, and with it's actual reputation and current users, they'll have as unique potential rival to Hangout of Google.

I'm not saying Hangout is better than BBM, but BB must me careful and innovate a lot b/c Google is not a guy who likes to lose and already have the 70% of the market.

For bbm to be #1, they've gotta out do and out perform wechat.....

That's like the #1 chat platform in asia

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I agree with you, what blackberry can do is hit the Asian market( look at the population out there) and what makes them interested in BlackBerry is to have apps that they normally use

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BlackBerry should not just open the chat system... it should open the whole portfolio of what BBM offers. it can charge a small fee for it. Keep it forever on any platform for like $10 but free if you buy a BlackBerry device.

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BlackBerry worked hard to get some WhatsApp on BlackBerry 10. I wonder what the WhatsApp guys are thinking about this.

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Didn't bbry piss off whatsapp years ago by removing them from the app store until they made changes due to being too close to bbm? Their relationship has always been touch and go

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Not to be negative but apple in particular would never approve a BBM app on there ecosystem - i give android a 50/50 chance of allowing it - blackberrys revival is not going un noticed by these goliaths . Google might allow it just to try and undermine apple.
Just my 2 cents.

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BBM has a shot but I'm not holding my breath. It will be a 2-3 year story regardless.

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They had to release BBM cross platform because nobody's buying BlackBerry 10 because of no apps. They "think" doing that is the solution but, i dont think it is. Whats the point making a new device and not making good money of it ? Do apps instead of doing that and u will be exclusive and tenting.

I think it might be a good move. For myself, I only have 3 friends on my bbm whom I don't talk to often, all my other friends use iPhone or Android

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I think it's a bad move to open up BBM on ios and android because as soon as it's available I'm leaving blackberry the same day.

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Going to be completely honest here, many of my friends upgrading from BBOS7 were going to switch to BB10 being they liked their BBM, however being I'm in the younger generation they can now buy an Iphone/driod with many apps being BBM is available they are going to switch to those... I feel bad for them. I'm going to be negative here and I'm sorry, it was an excellent article but I really do think this is a bad idea BBM is ONE of blackberry's best feature giving it away so someone with a different phone kinda stupid if you ask me why would you switch to a blackberry if BBM can be on any other phone... ahhh oh well they can't have the hub haha love my Z10 not one complaint just wish people would look past the bad rep blackberry has had in the past year :(

As long apple does not steal the idea like they stole so many ideas already.

Also I can see apple screwing blackberry over with bbm either not being allowed to run on ios or only allow a severely reduced bbm or charge blackberry so much money to allow ios to run it.

I can see this happening or apple may want to be part of a licence agreement with blackberry over bbm and then steal the idea and cut bbm off.

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Great article. In the long run BlackBerry will grow with Cross platform BBM than without it.

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*If* the Q5 is going to be cheap I can see your argument, Chris. But, is it? I heard a rumour it's going to be around $400USD off contract. That's not cheap for that market.

I live in Santa Cruz Bolivia /south America....just in case and I work at the biggest cellphone company of the country"Tigo" wich is in a few other country's also and I have noticed that it has been in the past 8 months or so that people started to switch from BlackBerry to diferent Platforms and it has been because of the huge difference in between what android and IOS had before BlackBerry came up with de z10,q10 I own a z10 that had it send from the us because we don't carry it yet but it has been a headache to convence the heads of the company to launch the Z10 since hey argue that BlackBerry is done and I use my cell to let them know that it even works better than iphone 5 and s3 wich are the higher in sells and when they came up with the new that bnm is opening up for other platform they finally decide to take a risk with a small order that's to what I saw at CB they dropped a huge amount of Samsung S4 and are doing a 70/30% wich is at least a few thousand units and depending on how well it runs they obviously will go ahead and order other less expensive. My point is that BBM going cross platform has make a difference in my country wich I'm sure that in plenty other 3rd world country's we have around 2 Millions users obviously not even half buy this kind of smartphones but let's say 200.000 users switch back to BlackBerry it would make a difference and. If you add all the other small country's. anyhow that's my solid opinion I hope that it all goes great for BlackBerry is either that or I will loose my job :s

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I believe that BBM on other platforms will allow people to see how well a BlackBerry system works. With the greater exposure, this will lead to an opportunity for new users yearning for a grander BlackBerry experience.

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Agree.. move on with this scenario. But the challenge is BlackBerry needs to ensure they get the differentiators from other.

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Can't wait to see BBM entering the top 5 on the TOP FREE apps in google play and in the apple app store

I dislike the idea at first, but this make sense. BBM is quickly falling out of relevance. I went from 150 contacts to 14.

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I'm for cross-platform BBM and Umi indicated many of the reasons I agree with. There was one thing I was thinking though. What if BlackBerry included the Z10 touch keyboard for the cross-platform BBM app. Imagine iOS and Android user only experiencing the awesome keyboard in the app, only to return to the stock keyboard once they exist. BlackBerry could show off another awesome feature from within one of the most fantastic features.

I wrote about this in the forums, but it didn't take off. Here's the link if you're interested

I really think BBM is way better than whatsapp and now that it has video chat and channels, OMG whatsapp is going to end in less than a second. I think they should put it in the app market of other devices and there might be a risk of loosing some blackberry users but I think they should take the risk and this change should be beneficial in several ways and there are plenty strategies to make that happen.
1) If they put it in other markets it sure will be one of the top ten messaging apps.
2) By being top ten, blackberry will get publicity. Making its brand renown making the stock market go up and getting contracts with app developers, phones designers, etc.
3) If they get money in the stock market they can design even better phones and improve the operating system
4) Users will start to think: 'Oh, BBM is so addictive and so good and well designed! If Blackberry phones are like this(which they are) then I will switch to one'. This will make sales go up tremendously.

But they didn't know you got a trick behind. I think they should leave the BBM app free for year and after that year start charging their clients. Though, they must keep this secret until a year has passed, otherwise the amount of users that could have download it will decrease. With out further a do and without warnings they should start making the app for purchase, if a new client says 'I want BBM' then he must pay for it. And the old users, the ones that downloaded the app from the first will have to pay but a really cheap fee. For example new users will have to pay 2 dolars for downloading the app. Other clients will only have to pay 0.99 cent per year fee after their free year. Then the clients that at the beginning payed 2 dollars they must keep paying 0.99 cents the next years. But, for blackberry phone users they should keep it free
1) This will bring lots of income for the company
2) lots of users will change to blackberry for the free app

Now, if this works they should develop even more apps and do the same with them. Apps that are exclusively made by blackberry and that other devices may be able to purchase but for blackberry phone users they shall be free. Also Apple and Android may not allow it but blackberry should convince them with the following points:
1) it is going to be free (they shouldn't know it is not going to be in a year)
2) It shall benefit apple and android because now that the only unique thing that blackberry has will be universal many other user will have it
3) The only reason blackberry is doing this, is for its old user so that they don't feel nostalgic and that they can still enjoy BBM from other platforms (of course that is a lie)
4) The only way this can benefit blackberry is by gaining publicity and making it a good company in other terms, and not anymore for tech devices, maybe making it a good company for designing apps (lie)

Now, with that set it is more probable that apple and android will say yes. If they say yes then Blackberry must get at least a 5 to 10 year contract (or even more, I don't know) that allow Blackberry to work with them. The contract must have the following key features:
1) Apple or Android will not be able to fire blackberry from their job. By that I mean that they shall not be able to delete the blackberry apps from the market even if they wanted to
2) The contract must not restrict the purchase of blackberry apps, that means, blackberry should be allowed to put a price on their apps whenever they want to. Though, let the companies think you will not

Okay that will guarantee success. Now, to make apple and android think you are not putting prices on the apps and that you are trying this to save blackberry and change its purpose, instead of doing tech devices you will now do apps(not true, blackberry is aiming for both); Blackberry should launch lots of free-well designed apps. Depending on how it goes, I recommend blackberry reconsider the earlier strategy of charging after a year. It all depends if it reaches the top 5 within the year and it still is at the end of the year. They should wait until the BBM app is top ten or top 5 and wait if they launched other applications. They should also put their apps into a time probation period after reaching the top ten. Blackberry should check if their apps stay in the top ten for at least two months after reaching its peak or height. After making sure the app is stable in the top ten for a while they should start charging. After the charging process has started it may be possible that Apple or Android might want to steal the idea or get it of the market by making it impossible to run in the operating system if this ever happens then Blackberry should update the app, making it possible to run. If they try to steal the idea then fix all the bugs and problems that the app has so that it is still better than their and do even more. Make the app better, enhance it and add features to it.

This process is powerful and undeniable.

Hey guys, I really want blackberry to survive and be good in the stock market as they used to be. Do you think I should send RIM a message to see if they could get some ideas and use them? I don't want anything in return if the plans works. I just really want Blackberry to be successful. I think I do have some ideas. Any suggestions?

They Need To keep BBM Channels exclusive to bb users, let ios and android see our channels, to get the full effect u still need a berry. BlackBerry BBM Channels is the feature

BlackBerry should go for it! Nothing to lose because the non-loyal BlackBerry users are already gone to other platforms. Only the loyal remain!

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What is going to make BBM more reliable cross platform than whatsapp or Google talk? There will be no BIS to rely on. The 'sluggishness' of whatsapp/google talk is almost certainly not an app issue, but a network problem that will affect BBM too. I hope it works though - I'm a fan of BBM, but hate the look of it in BB10.

Chris, I think you have answered your own questions in this article and doubts of many.

There is no doubt that BBM is the best messaging app on the market. The scalability of the app is unreal and running on the QNX platform provides a lot more possibilities. Having to make such a bold move shows that BlackBerry is here to stay (not that I believed that it was dying, like many thought). There are a lot of folks out there who make quick judgements about such a move. However, the very same folks do not take the time to think oh how this operational strategic approach adds to the BB portfolio. BB has obviously looked at the risks involved and has already implemented a contingency plan to mitigate every possible risk involved.

I am from the Caribbean island of Dominica and I live in Australia; I communicate with my dad and other immediate family members via BBM. Why? Well, it's D.A.M.N awesome and another reason being that the entire Caribbean mobile community uses BlackBerries. I collect BBs from here and send them back to my native country for sale or free where I can. Now, with the Q5 coming out with a lower price point, it maintains BB's majority stake in the third world and emerging markets. The iPhone, Android and Microsoft mobiles cannot survive in these markets because of their price points. The Q5 is the answer to grow these markets even bigger. One this growth commences, it propels the BB brand into overdrive.

Another great advantage of BBM being cross platform is that it will eventually become the messaging tool in the corporate world.Remember, Heins said that the aim is to no longer carry a tablet PC making the BlackBerry device the only outstanding device as a substitute to revolutionize the market shift. BBM will be used in hospitals as mentioned and other multinational corporations as a standard. I see this move taking down whatsapp on the handheld devices but also taking on giants like skype and Cisco's webex on desktops and network infrastructures. Look at the magic of having BBM running on your desktop in corporate offices. Think about it...How quick does an email get answered especially when you want an immediate response? With BBM on desktops the response is almost instant.

That being said there are numerous benefits of having to make the app cross platform. The Q5 will eventually top sales over the Z10 for new upgrades and sales from already existing and emerging markets.

I go to Aruba every year. Yes, in 2009, everyone had a BB. Last year, half of my friends there had an iPhone or S2.

My observations are that the big players are all closing their garden fences and try to win this "communication standard" battle which is on the horizon. The best examples: Google abondoning XMPP federation which its services, Microsoft bringing Skype & Lync together and Blackberry opening BBM.

The sad thing for the user is, that interoperability (available today already with XMPP federation) will be again far away on the horizon. To be able to communicate with your friends and colleagues you will need to have 5 messaging accounts and apps on all of your devices - like in the stone age times of ICQ, YIM and MSN.

--> What a pitty for the users

BlackBerry should of started this plan ages ago, not a lot of people know but BlackBerry service was available for a certain very old Siemens device and was a side-loadable service on certain E-class business Nokia devices as well. If the only caught on earlier and revamped their position earlier their market share wouldn't of dropped that much... I agree with what was said above that BBM going cross-platform should've killed whatsapp, but now it's just a bit late... Google Hangout and Facebook Messenger have already got a head start... BBM coming out now might not have the effect they were hoping for after more than 50% of their loyal fan base have left them...

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For those who insists that they are only staying with Blackberry because of BBM... stop complaining since if you bought the phone not for the BB10 interface, you should be really happy now that you can finally switch to the inferior [yeah I am biased, so what] platform that you really want!

to be honest, if the BBM features will be completely function on Android, i'll grab S4 right that moment. why??? no offence to blackberry, but we (business user) really need a powerful phone, Z10 update 10.1 even missed to update the new line (shift+enter) feature. we really need that in every apps.

"we (business user) really need a powerful phone"

The BlackBerry 10 OS blows away Android OS. Even "powerful" ones. So get an S4 when BBM moves to Android, but I fear you'll be wasting your money because the S4 will be hard pressed to run multiple tasks as well as a Z10. And by the end of 2013 the premium device from BlackBerry should put all the others in the shade.

+1.....Aristo/Astro, specs of the S4, if not better by time of release, and running QNX....Lord Have Mercy

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BBM's the only thing keeping me on BlackBerry for now really, switching from the 9900 to the Z10 wasn't a smooth process & my company still haven't decided whether to support BES 10 or not, so it has been inconvenient not having access to my work calendar on my phone. When BBM goes cross platform I'll try another phone (not sure what yet).

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The move to open BBM to other platforms is not a bad move, of course there will be some setbacks, but I am sure the BlackBerry management already weighted the pros and cons before announcing this initiative.

If messaging is the major draw, switching to Android or iOS devices will be a failed experiment for users tempted away by xplatform BBM, because only when messaging is a minor draw is an all-touchscreen keyboard acceptable for many users. Or, it's an opportunity for BB to make a cheap azz Android phone with the BB keyboard.

Another argument that could be driving the BBM move to Android and iOS is BYOD for enterprises.

Not much point being able to manage all those devices if you don't have a common messaging platform. Perhaps that's where we'll see cross platform BBM.

But I'd agree that BlackBerry have waited until now to coincide with the low cost Q5 launch. At least now BlackBerry can compete. Had they launched BBM for Android and iOS earlier they really would have collapsed as a hardware company.

I think Blackberry's opportunity to dominate the messaging app space has passed. We are flooded by messaging apps as it is.Whatsapp(200 million),Viper(200 million),Skype (280million) Facebook messenger(? million) have maybe a billion subscribers between themselves alone. Blackberry is still harping about its 60 million bbm users when a company i have never heard of, Message Me has amassed 5 million users in 75days for their app.Really?

i think 60 mill is being vvveeerrryyy generous,,, BB would have to release some verifiable #'s for me to belive that...

I love the read feature on BBM, and not having to leave my phone number to participate . LOVE it! I'm sure BBM will be welcomed even embraced by many (of the former BBM /BLACKBERRY users) as well as pick up some or a lot of the masses along the way . Smart move by BlackBerry. Go BlackBerry ! Go sell like hell! Thanks for all the great articles Chris. Love reading them.

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BlackBerry has to first speed up the BBM I still feel bbm in Z10 is way too slower than the BBIS enabled phones, I have delayed deliveries, services delay on the Z10. I presume BlackBerry giving out bbm to all platform is a Good idea will only work if they optimise service and improve drastically. With the current delivery speeds and too much waiting signs it take a lot to impress others.

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going cross-platform is probably a good move, but i don't think it'll be as big a player a some think,,, a few ipples & idroids will adopt it if they have a contact on BB, but i don't see it making as big a splash as some hope it will unless they make it completely unique & bring features that no other platform has,,, are there any (left)???

Dare I say, that with all things said; what if a struggling hardware genius like, oh, say, Nokia teamed up with an emerging OS that has a clear advantage....

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there is always a positive side to things, maybe BBM going cross platform will convince a current BB user to upgrade to a new BB10, instead of a IOS or android phone, because his/her BBM contact list is no longer shrinking! get it!

The other thing for me is that I feel like facebook messenger, hangouts, and viber are not IM. That is, it's context based whether you get the message or not. IM apps that are mobile first will always make more sense to me. BBM just FEELS like an instantaneous conversation, not like facebook messenger where I feel I am "leaving a message for someone". Probably a lot to do with the little R and D

I use What's App on my 9800 for all my non-BlackBerry contacts. Nevertheless, I think BBM is better. Having it go cross platform will offer greater BlackBerry awareness. If more people start to like it better than the other IM they are using, they may even start thinking about switching over to a BlackBerry device. I'm not so sure that long-time BlackBerry users will jump ship if BBM goes cross platform, especially with the recent release of BB10.

This doesn't relate to the post but I had to tell someone. I got a FREE iphone 5 at this website

No joke! I was skeptical at first but I figured why not and it turned
out to be legit. It seems apple is looking for testers so they know how
they can improve the iphone 5 and the next generation iphones.


I am Vivek from India. I have been a loyal Blackberry user since last 3 years. From my Point of View opening up BBM to other platforms is very risky because since Blackberry is more into selling their smartphones, this move will only encourage Android and Apple users to not buy Blackberry phones and stick to their phones. I am saying this from my personal experience because all my friends are either Apple or Android users and they keep taunting me about my Blackberry handset (not that I am swayed by any of their comments).

That's my thought.


I can't count the times I've been screaming at WhatsApp to shape up, service not starting, long delays in getting messages delivered. That, and my security concerns with that App, make it only tolerable because it's cross platform, and so many of my contacts are on it.
So, if we have a good, secure BBM cross platform option, I will politely but firmly push my contacts towards that.
It's time to get serious about messaging, folks! BBM is where it's at.

"BlackBerry Messenger has a chance to become the #1 consumer messaging app and the #1 secure enterprise messaging app."

What do I think? I think I'd like some of whatever you're smoking. I realize you're preaching the the choir, but it's difficult for me to believe you sleep well spouting this nonsense.

They are going to confuse the blackberry fans in developing nations like indonesia, who would rather go for the cheapest device that supports BBM, and that means cheap android headsets. Bye Q5!

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In order for BBM to kill whatsapp it needs EVERY Phone. Not just Ios and Android. There are a hell of alot of people still using symbian overseas. We need everyone on board, why delete whatsapp if people u know might have a symbian or windows device. If it's on everyone then I see myself deleting whatsapp immediately

I hope eventually BBM does cost money for non-blackberry users. Basically a cheap subscription would ROCK!!! Say, $2, $3, $4, $5 a month shouldn't gut anyone's wallet amirite? :D