BlackBerry Messenger will not make its way to iOS or Android

BlackBerry Messenger
By Bla1ze on 24 May 2012 07:34 pm EDT

When RIM's now CEO, Thorsten Heins took control of the company back in January, it was noted several times that RIM may look into licensing deals with various other organizations out there. For a while now, there has been a longstanding rumor that BlackBerry Messenger would be making its way to other platforms and many took this, as a sign BlackBerry smartphones would soon be losing their BlackBerry Messenger exclusivity.

As it appears now, things happened just the opposite. Backing this up, comes a new report from the WSJ that claims RIM was testing BlackBerry Messenger on other devices under the codename "SMS 2.0" despite RIM having gone on record to say, they have no plans for BlackBerry Messenger on different platforms.

Seemingly, the only reason why the BBM licensing agreement talks came to an end was due to the fact that CEO Thorsten Heins took that option off the table with WSJ's source claiming that "It was not up for discussion," any longer. In other words, "there is a time when this might make sense" but now -- is not it and BlackBerry Messenger will remain on BlackBerry exclusively.

Source: WSJ

Reader comments

BlackBerry Messenger will not make its way to iOS or Android


They're talking about iOS and Android. . .BB10 will have BBM of course. . .and I agree that right now would be a horrible time to put BBM on other platforms. . .let RIM get a comfortable amount of market share back. . .then maybe (and that's a BIG maybe. . .)


BBM still superior. Yea ok whatsapp... I use it it too but its so tightly integrated that I think it'd throw away the BB advantage should they license it out...

i think it's okay that other platforms don't hanve it cause if they do people would say 'why will i buy a BB.. i can have everything on an android phone, even BBM' so maybe people would stop buying BB

BBM will most definitely be coming to the BlackBerry 10 platform.

Whatsapp is a fantastic alternative, but it's true, BBM's vertical integration makes it second to none. They've running into many of the issues that BBM solved quite some time ago. Seems like RIM is pushing BBM heavily, and using it as leverage going forward. Smart decision if you ask me.

Of course, if we can't have BBM on other platforms, we should try to make it a little easier to use for people that like to get things done. If only there was an app that might help you do that...

RIM won't admit it or likely ever release it but they've had BBM on the desktop for years internally.

If they want to get their market shares up, I think it is better to sell the BBM to other users may be with an added monthly fee or with an app buy fee.

"RIM won't admit it or likely ever release it but they've had BBM on the desktop for years internally"

Are you sure about that?

Have to say that except perhaps for testing setups it sounds highly unlikely.

Humm, not supporting the other devices looks fine to me, but i don't think they should restrict on desktop as they are not competing in this space (at worst with x86 future win8 tablets that could possibly run desktop apps).

That would align with the rumours of Balsillie trying to keep pushing the idea of extending it to other platforms and thus the reason they got him off the board.

BBM keeps a lot of people on BlackBerry. It does not make sense for them to use it on other platfroms. I don't think people would use it anyway.. You have to be on BlackBerry to use BlackBerry! STAY TRUE!!

That's a sound point of view. RIM's senior management are probably on the same frequency of thought. Pushing BBM out to other platforms dilutes RIM. It would totally negate all the time, money, and effort spent on branding Blackberry, software development, and most importantly, building a strong app world.

People are aware at this point that BBM is a Blackberry-only service. And so that becomes a key decision making factor when shopping for a new smartphone. If people could just download BBM to their iOS or Android devices, then where is the incentive to switch? And if people aren't switching, there's no money. And if there is no money, there are no quality apps from developers. And if there are no apps, then we'll all be switching out of Blackberry.

I don't know if this is a good idea or a bad one, it would be great to spread the BBM because most if not all of my friends have jumped ship and is a solid if not the best messenger.

It seems like they are getting more confident in BB10 if they are backing off from seeking partnerships with other phone companies and looking to go it alone.

I think you are right,BB10 will be a difference maker at least that's what RIM thinks. Licensing BBM would be a sign of desperation

Totally! I believe on "all or nothing" kind of effort, its nice to see that's what they're doing for BB10... Now BB10 has an advantage... It'll have ALL the same great apps as the others, but they'll all be short the best app of all - BBM!!!

BBM stricky for Bb devices only. If they want BBM, buy Blackberry. They can have all the Apps they want. BBM stays Exclusively..

What would have been the benefit for Android or iOS users? A way to connect with us BB users?
It doesn't make any sense, and I guess that's why they pulled it. No future outside BB.

Would it not be cool to communicate with others in your circle? I'm in the minority where I am.

Go Big Blue!!

If bb10 will have bbm, why cant the playbook have native bbm as well? Just curious really cuz to me its not that important since i can have it via bridge.

BBM provides a competive advantage. I believe this was a good decision. The secure encryption of anything transmitted in or out of a BB is the thing that sets it apart from the rest. People say that a "Me too" device would not be enough for a RIM resurgence. They are right.

The reason I believe RIM will make a great comeback is that it will NOT be a "Me Too" device. It will have the ease of the iPhone and the power of top of the line droids but it will still have a BlackBerry pedigree and that is predicated on data efficient, secure, reliable infrastructure that just glows with BBM.

This is great news in my view.

No one is more secure than BlackBerry. Not even close. That will be the "secret sauce" that gets RIM to make a great comeback, provided they execute as planned. I believe Thorsten Heinz and the rest of the RIM team will deliver the goods on time.

This is a mistake. IMO Having BBM on iOS and Android would benefit RIM in a big way. It would set them apart from the rest to be the first cross platform messaging system and that would be huge. I also fear that sooner or later people will be factoring in iMessage as a small part of the decision process for a not choosing RIM devices.... just so they can communicate with everyone else easier....

Not to mention they could probably sell the App on iOS and Android for a buck or so and it would likely rise to the top of the charts. ...... I'm sure I'm not the only one frustrated by different proprietary standards that are in place as a vain effort to lock people in. All of these companies need to come to terms with the fact that we just want to be able to communicate easily with anybody we want, regardless of who uses what device.

I disagree. RIM would certainly sell lots of copies of the BBM app to iOS and Android but they'd surely lose handset sales and RIM is, after all a handset copmany as one of its prime functions.

From a user perspective, telefonique makes a point. Users do look for ease-of-use to communicate to their friends. It won't necessarily be iMessage though, as it's proprietary to iProducts and marketshare-wise, Apple isn't the leader. It's Android. It'll be a cross-platform messaging app, regardless. This perspective works well for the *consumer* market, where people are willing to sacrifice security/promptness of messages for ease-of-use. For the business sector, it doesn't work.

From RIM's perspective, devoting limited company resources to support iOS and Android with BBM for a return value to $1/app sale and being at the top of app charts makes absolutely no sense. Free apps beat out paid apps but where does that get the developer? Fame, maybe. Money, no.

That is too bad. With mobile fusion and BYOD, it was the only way to promote and extend your BBM to other platforms.

RIM is making a huge mistake.

BRILLIANT. BBM is a BlackBerry trademark, and personally I would be pissed if they allowed BBM on iOS or any other operating system. Anyone on this forum who is a TRUE BlackBerry user would agree. BBM chat and PIN numbers are unique. Integrating them into other OS platforms would break that, if you are gonna cry over it email yourself the convo, lol. Apple could easily make their own platform or integrate a BBM like system with iMessage if they really wanted to. Android's are mostly based off of Google, and Google chat is already a BBM like platform, so let them use their innovation skills to make their own BBM prototype's . BlackBerry made a smart choice.

"Selling" the license of BBM to other platforms is the only way for RIM
to survive in this tech world.
Most of us know by now that RIM devices are:
-have bad built quality
-lacking of features
-bad reliability ( more in the OS department)
-lacking of stable OSes
and lots of RIM supporters are already jumped ships to other platforms that provide us with
more features and stability and reliability compared to Blackberries.

I think this is totally the wrong move from RIM
look at their shares , they went down everyday.
their top management or professional already leaving the company one by one.
it's just a matter of time that this company will collapse.

selling the "BBM" to other platforms is the ONLY way to make the change .
but it seems they are too proud to do that.

about blackberry 10 devices, i wouldn't cross my finger on that one.

From your post it sounds like you are an android or crapple user who wants BBM bad. If you want it come and get it.

That's weird. I got my first smartphone in September 2011. I did my research and chose a Blackberry 9850 because of how well it functioned when I tried it at the Sprint store. The Android phones for the service plan I wanted weren't very good - slow and sluggish. iPhone wasn't available yet (on Sprint), and I've played with them enough to know I wasn't interested.

In regards to your "analysis", you don't know what you're talking about. It's a lot of generalizations without actual facts.

RIM isn't going to collapse, go bankrupt or out of business or be bought out/sold if they don't license BBM.

RIM made it clear that it will *not* be licensed out.

EDIT: Can you link some credible proof to backup your claim of blackberry supporters and users, in hordes, jumping ship?

Selling BBM out to other devices in exchange for more profits and money in the short term is not a solution.

BBM is exclusive to BB users. and being part of this exclusive community, we shouldnt so easily give out BBM. Its the very thing that makes us special and different from the other devices/platforms.

It seemed like a bad idea to outsource BBM anyway. RIM is losing money and many subscribers. BBM is the one reason why many people stay with Blackberry. If you open that up to other smartphone platforms, you're only going to lose people because you've taken away incentive for them to stay. Not a good idea on RIM's part.

After BB10 then give it to other OS's, BUT give them a paid "preview",
Strip down version of BBM without perks like groups, security and put ads about blackberry on it.
not giving BBM to other platform is a bad long term strategy. Differentiation is key.

I've never used bbm becouse i'm the only bb user among my friend and colleagues :( Blackberry isn't very popular in russia. RIM, you should do something with it!!!

Makes sense doesn't it? You will never expect to see imessage on android or windows phone would you?
I am a BB fan that can't stand the current crop of BB phone. Bring on BB10! Make it thin and light! My 9810 feels like its going to break my wrist when I use it after using my Samsung galaxy s2 :(

BBM is so essential to the BB brand that making it cross-platform would be much like giving away its identity. RIM is not trying to make android or apple users happy, its trying to grow the RIMpire. Forget your friends who jumped ship to get a lame phone to flash around. Once their battery. runs out (which usually takes about an hour of casual use), you will still have a great phone with well thought out software to last you the rest of today and some of tomorrow. You don't throw your food to the guy who abandoned ship

How's BBM a competitive edge? So far it hasn't really stopped BB users to stay away from Android and Apple in North America and Europe. So, that's not a very good reason to keep BBM single platform. From the blogs and posts, however, it seems the situation in Asia and Africa is different. When you have a large Market share it makes sense to keep BBM to yourself, but RIM is in that situation as well as in the opposite situation in different parts of the world. In addition, for those who where never on BlackBerry. They don't know that BBM is a very useful tool. For them it is just a messenger that can be used to communicate with 5% of their friends. Hardly a competitive edge. If BBM went cross-platform with limited functionality, then 'others' will learn how good it is and they might even want more, like the original device. Bringing BBM to other devices today is however not a smart move as it may indicate a lack of trust in RIM's own future. This is just my opinion, but I had to vent it, because of the silly idea to not share BBM as this results in RIM loosing a competitive edge. If I was the alpha dog I wouldn't share either, but if I wasn't, sharing is a great idea to get liked more.

I do IT support for a company with dwindling amount of blackberry users to the point I want to give up the BES licenses. There are Roms for every android device now that give killer battery life better than blackberry.

For example I have a rom on my Samsung Epic 4G Touch (SGS2)that runs fast, and can consistently get 23 hours of battery life with 3 hours of on screen time.

Blackberry should license their BBM, at this point nobody is left in my BBM lists cause of all the people that switched.

Its a great platform and RIM shouldnt be greedy.

Look at google they made google apps like gmail, maps for almost every platform.

Working in IT -> custom ROM's -> battery life. Are you just stringing random thoughts together?

Google doesn't make money on sales of hardware (at least not yet with their Motorola acquisition, which has been losing lots of money).

You know we were analyzing blackberry in our marketing class and identified BBM as something that trumps other phones and is the only thing unique in the mobile world currently. All phones have apps but only one can have bbm.

In our discussion we came up with a cool insight, what if limited bbm was allowed in other phones but only to add fellow blackberry friends. THIS WOULD RESTRICT ANDROID AND IOS USERS FROM ADDING EACH OTHER but they can add Blackberry friends.

This would first of all show other users what they were missing in bbm and bbm would become a "social network" of its own, wht do you guys think?

I think it is a great idea, as I suggested in the post above. I also hope that this becomes reality next year. It will be a good marketing tool to persuade people into the full experience. And if they don't go for the full experience, at least I can keep using my BlackBerry to communicate with 'others'.

Best idea yet.

I don't think it'll show your iOS and Android friends what they're missing, as they won't know what the advantage of the underlying infrastructure is giving them, but at least you'll get to communicate with them using BBM.

As long as RIM are actively working on turning the ship around it makes little sense to give away these exclusives to the competition. As that will be one less reason to stay.
Unless and until they have another well-protected feature planned for BB10, BBM should stay inhouse. After all we pay for BBM as part of our BIS subscriptions.

Yeah!! That's the fighting spirit great stuff! Your technology gadget transcends usability these days into the realms of your emotions, because it's so tightly integrated into our everyday lives, so we do tend to get personal with our devices, whether it's a fandroid thing or an iThing thing, our your Blackberry pride;).

its true that bbm if far better than others IM but its not a necesity anymore with whatsapp(and others) most people can get the work done, most ppl that keep using BBs have installed whatsapp or other because the masive emigration of bb users to others plataform, its not a necesity anymore, I just hope that BB10 can success and have cool features that make some users like me to return, good luck RIM .Competence is always good for us( customers)

Yes! This is excellent news and makes a few statements. For one, it shows that Heins and RIM are increasingly confident in BB10's potential success. They don't feel they need the extra stream of revenue because BB10 will cover it. BB10 will also be the only platform with BBM, which is a great exclusive, especially in developing markets.

Lastly, BBM stays with RIM. BlackBerry users who've wanted Netflix or Skype have had to switch to Android or iOS. Why should RIM give in and hand the competitors another, formerly exclusive app? Especially one that is so core to BlackBerry? If people want BBM, then they have to switch to BlackBerry. That's how it is and that's how it should be!

Have you been skipping writing classes again? How else do you explain writing that includes " . . . organizations out there" and "As it appears now, things happened just the opposite" and commas that are sprinkled throughout your short piece, sometimes appropriately, often not. Oh, I know. As you've said before, you're a blogger. You seem to think that means you don't have to write competently and well.

This is an EPIC FAIL on RIM's part. I understand the need to protect proprietary software, but given RIM's current market position, they have to do all they can to retain existing and attract new customers.

A big advantage to making BBM available to iOS and Android is to enable non-Bb users to communicate with their friends and family who are already using the Bb platform and not burn through their sms limits. Existing Bb users who have fallen deeply in love with the keyboard now have a reason to stick with Bb - so they can BBM their friends and family regardless of their mobile platforms.

I don't understand how RIM executives think nowadays. They just focus so hard on thinking inside the box and not be able to visualize how things can positively change once they start thinking outside the box.

What a shame!

I think RIM should bring something called BBVV(BlackBerry Voice and Video) which would be integrated into bbm sorta like SKYPE.Send voice or video or just make a video call...these features have long been awaited on BB....Let's Rock n' Roll this!

Why do you switch to another device or operating system?I hope because it enhances your daily operations and functionality.First of all RIM needs to bring a simple device with functional integrated apps that the everyday consumer will dive into.Professionals should be able to do their work on the go and you should also be able to enjoy your phone in your liesure time.If RIM's BB10 boast these characteristics with an exclusive BBM their efforts will pay off.Selling BBM to platforms wouldn't win market will. It's like having an ipod touch and an me it doesn't make sense! One cancels out the other. On the other hand if I have cool features on my NEW BB10,solid build,great functionality,as playful as Android or iOS and noted as one if not "THE" most secure mobile-phone device manufacturers with an EXCLUSIVE messenger that the whole world would love....wouldn't you want my device?