Mike Lazaridis has high hopes for BBM on iOS and Android

Mike Lazaridis
By Simon Sage on 22 May 2013 01:37 pm EDT
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In a recent interview, ex-co-CEO of BlackBerry Mike Lazaridis commented on BlackBerry Messenger going cross-platform. As you might expect, he figures BBM stands a good chance at succeeding on iOS and Android. 

"BBM is by far the most compelling wireless experience and wireless social-networking environment. ... [Thorsten Heins is] speaking to the confidence he has in the platform. ... Not only is BlackBerry back in a big way with BB10, he’s also showing he can expand that vision to other platforms."

Our own Chris Umiastowski has already laid out a lot of great arguments for why BBM on other platforms is a great move,  plus the inventor of BlackBerry Messenger is understandably excited about the whole thing, but it's good to see that the old blood still has faith in the company and its current direction.  

How do you guys see the move? Do any of y'all have buddies that switched to iOS and Android that might be willing to give BBM a shot?

My biggest question is about how they'll monetize the whole thing. It seems sensible that they might lock away particular features behind in-app purchases, but some, like screen sharing, will be very tricky to get right. 

106 comments

raggnar

With android I think will be Ok but ios don't think so simply

BBM on ios is a bit weird and will be showing that mac users are loosing grounds

Posted via CB10

123berryaddicted

One thing is for sure... everyone is gonna be on bbm again, forget that lousy 2nd rate app bbm wannabe messenger (whatsapp)... that's one good thing, our bbm lists are gonna expand quite a bit... hopefully BlackBerry has servers large enough to handle the influx.

ovi08

This why I think BBM going multi-platform has been in the works for a long time. With BB10, the only things (as far as I know) that go through the server (BIS) are BBM and some other apps (mostly BB stuff). (Not sure of Email since activesync is the norm). This is why apps on BB0S 7 and below were quite slow when compared to android and ios. For example, when you use shazam on BBOS 7, in the corner when u click shazam u see the BIS logo in the corner appear which means the data is coming through BIS. With BB10 having only the necessary apps going through BIS, they should have more than enough server space.

Plazmic Flame

I feel like I repeat these words every time the topic comes up but BBM will be successful when it goes cross platform.

10 years ago, if you had a smartphone, chances are extremely high that you were a BlackBerry user. Now, even if today you're on a different platform, you still remember BBM. It was the real deal messenger platform.

I've already broken the news to the less tech-obsessed people in my circles who are on other platforms and they are excited as ever. Why? Because they remember BBM, they remember their BlackBerry. I like to say that the smartphone (BlackBerry) era 10+ years ago was like the Garden of Eden...... then Adam & Eve sinned (2007 - iPhone), now we are wandering around in the desert, lol

newportironman

I love your analogy. It was a Garden time. Serene, exciting at the same time. And pure. Maybe BB10 will get us across the Jordan.

rom_t

This so true. Like!!!!

Posted via CB10

andresf13

first, Don´t judge me

CT9AJ

No you weren't idiot.

Posted via CB10

bintheredundat

Lol shame.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10 Oreo

andresf13

well, second ;((( someday I'll have the prestige of being the first

123berryaddicted

Just do what others do... make a comment... if it turns out to be first then edit it to include "first"... that way you won't look.... like... a... _____

QuIcKsIlV3r

Or they don't have to say first at all....

Lexx Spartan H

Lol funny how people get worked up over first (quick silver)

Posted via CB10

QuIcKsIlV3r

because you guys are pathetic! At least the CB has been cracking down and deleting "first" comments.

Anyways before the other one jumps on me cause she thinks I'm cute (jojo bacon) and won't leave me alone, I'm out.

jojo beaconsfield

Don't forget when you point your finger at someone,there's 3 more looking right back at you.

BruvvaPete2

Leave Quick alone or I'll shave your goatee.

PJD642

Not if you use "knife hand" like the Drill Instructors do...then you've got all five pointing at your victim!

And yeah, "first" is a wasted post.

KN2577Z10

You always tried to get it first but your gf told you that you came second?

Posted via CB10

Kriilin Namek

My nephew, who is an Apple guy, is ditching Whats(was that)app? as soon as BBM comes out. I think it's a good move on the PR front too, how many non BB smartphone users think BB is dead?

rocker_man1

I look forward to BBM cross platform so I can get back in touch with those that bailed on BlackBerry years ago!

Posted via CB10

bintheredundat

Great move. How will they monetiZe it? Well I see bbm as the go to messenger app for byod policies. Great option to add to enterprise servers... hopefully they can monetize it that way. Ie sell extra features ( video chat)

Posted via CB10 on my Z10 Oreo

Corpo Life

Agreed on the move but my question is why is everyone harping on the "how will it be monetized" aspect. Laying the foundation for a communications and collaboration platform that is OS, hardware, and Telecom Vendor agnostic is the ultimate goal. Think about it this way.... QNX is in your ride... which at a minimum currently would allow you to connect to any phone via Bluetooth. Let's say on iOS.... currently blackberry will need to create another app to begin leveraging the opportunities that a QNX and BB device combo would have natively. In addition this would represent a small segment at this time. Not really worth it. Plus having to manage it from a development perspective when you look at scale is difficult. The real purpose is to propel QNX, BES 10, etc... aka the other BB products. This foundational layer needs to happen and be ubiquitous to get this accomplished. Then opportunities around the products in the BB portfolio can be looked at. Looking at monetizing certain features I think is short sited as it will create niche markets for developers to create "free" alternatives like WhatsApp. Which is ultimately a distraction to BB. Can you image the programs involved is creating a pay for feature environment.... What do you think?

buckwylder

It can only be a good move. BBM is awesome. It is the best IM client of any IM client, precisely because it is mobile. It is also a legitimate competitor to other social network sites and will only get bigger and better by expanding it's reach. Great move on BlackBerry's part. I will forever use a BlackBerry smartphone, so no worries of major fans jumping ship to other hardware. The BlackBerry 10 hardware kills all other phones anyway.

Posted via CB10

123berryaddicted

I see it as a great move for the consumer, but I also believe BlackBerry will lose handset purchases because of it. Everyone I know who has a blackberry has said the same thing to me "oh, come next upgrade I will look else where" - yes I know people love their BlackBerry for several reasons, but for many, many many people, bbm was what was holding them. Just saying. Great for the consumer, not great for blackberry - it's just my opinion, last I checked we're all allowed our own.

slomo408

If people you know we're saying there next upgrade they were going to look elsewhere BBM wasn't holding them to BlackBerry anyway. Everyone I know that has seen my Z10 is impressed by the OS and are considering switching back from Android or iOS. I do am mini demo whenever someone asks about it. Sell Like Hell! BBM on other platforms is mindshare pure and simple. Nothing like having one of the top apps on all platforms.

buckwylder

BBM is an RTOS IM. It has the immediacy people want in social networking. Without taking anything away from that immediacy will be numerous awesome features that will fit right into the "immediacy" component of BBM. Love it. Exciting. BBM could be the future of social.

Posted via CB10

buckwylder

They will monetize cross platform BBM within the enterprise most likely. It will be free for consumers.

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Mister-E

Anyone who once owned a BlackBerry is going to install it. Plus, BBM has a strong reputation. It us going to be a success. I do not think they need to monetize it. It is a great Trojan horse to get people interested in BlackBerry again.

Posted via CB10

Kardinal_D

"My biggest question is about how they'll monetize the whole thing. It seems sensible that they might lock away particular features behind in-app purchases"!

My exact view on the subject Simon, guess we will truely fine out in about 6 months!

Nindia

BBM Money!

Indonesia already has 60,000 subscribers to BBM money.

Now imagine 100 million people have access to that...it will make the service revenues of the BIS/BES network look like peanuts.

Posted via CB10

Plazmic Flame

BBM Money really needs to get expanded worldwide.

Cormango

This will be interesting. Whatsapp has become my number one cross platform messaging app. SMS has become #2. BBM would be great, except there's no sign of a Windows Phone version coming. You would think if they were really serious that they would develop for all 3 of the top mobile platforms *ha*. But I guess the sour news of WP hurts and developing for it would hurt even more.

They should have released BBM for other platforms years ago. They also should had developed Mobile Fusion years ago.. or wait, UDS and BDS? no... BES10? Yeah, Bes10, that's what they're calling it today...

It would be even better if BlackBerry were to take over Whatsapp...

QuIcKsIlV3r

I'm still on the fence with this. I can see why they are opening it up, but I doubt with Kik and whatsapp already out, as well as Yahoo and Gtalk and other IM's, I don't think BBM will survive. Mind you, some people that have moved on from BB, may like the idea of BBM access and may download and use it over anything else.

slomo408

It will be popular in certain circles, I know I'll be trying to convert people I know to use it so I don't have to put up with whatsapp.

canderson85

I'm sure he had high hopes about being a successful CEO too

Posted via CB10

venious

LMAO

Z10 via T-Mobile (10.1.0.1880)

jasonvan9

You mean he wasn't successful? Don't insult a brilliant man you know F-All about sir.

He built a billion dollar company from nothing, thats pretty god d-m successful by anyone's measure

Posted via CB10

pcguy514

^THIS!

short term memory/ignorance is bliss. If it wasn't for him there would not be a BlackBerry much less a crackberry.

black hole

you sir are simple minded.

Posted via CB10

Asyrul Idzham

If Blackberry really wants to survive in tech-crazy nowadays,they just have to put countless of great and well known apps and games in their software.that is what a smartphone is all about!come on guys,you have such a great history of making phones.look at samsung,where did they come from all of a sudden and where are they now?you are slowly(not really,to me) losing your loyal,faithful and die-hard fans.enough said.

Posted via CB10

BBMIZKING

Yes. Sort of like the crappy Windows Communicator they use in many enterprises.

Asyrul Idzham

Blackberry is actually making one more reason why people wouldn't have to buy a blackberry device.Nice move in killing your own business.

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bbelux1

Not necessarily.

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npunk42

That might not be right. Once people get the BBM experience, they will want to use it in its native format. So its good that BB doesn't offer every feature to the ios and android versions.

Hsuny12

This would be true if people were still buying BlackBerry for bbm, however we know this is not the case. People buy BlackBerry now because the OS is new and improved.

Posted via CB10

Tariq.H

Exactly.. Besides, as mentioned previously somewhere on crackberry, the people who wanted to move away from blackberry already haves, i doubt BBM is the sole reason any current blackberry users are staying with the blackberry

GeneralHerzog

I just like the idea of seeing the BB icon on iOS (the widespread usage is also sweet)

venious

I really don't want to hear anything from this guy ever again.

Z10 via T-Mobile (10.1.0.1880)

licks13

If they keep bbm seamless as it is from BlackBerry to BlackBerry it will do well.

Posted via CB10

hawkessales

99.9% of Apple users will NEVER use a Blackberry app on their Iphones. Hate to be negative, but they would switch to a Blackberry phone first.

Posted via CB10

bbelux1

Why? If the app is good?! They use WhatsApp and viber, not apple products!

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Balti43

Haha 99.9%? yeah ok you're wrong. Many people who went to Apple are previous Blackberry users. and many of them miss BBM. reason why Apple created iMessage to create a BBM like atmosphere. Although it still feels just like texting. I know a couple of people who are excited to use BBM on their iPhone

slomo408

iOS users use Google maps because iOS maps are garbage. With BBM cross platform its competing with whatsapp, users will use whatever is better. iMessage doesn't count since it's apple only.

george_helgerson

Unfortunately I have no hopes at all for Mike Lizard. He failed rule #1: quit while you're ahead.

bbelux1

Let's move! Release it!!!! Push also BlackBerry Channels! More collaborative tools for businesses behind the BES security. Make me visible and sell like hell from the palm of my hand!

Posted via CB10

dannyd86

I can easily convince my 5 iphone friends I talk to on whatsapp and 3 on Skype to switch over. No problem

Posted via CB10

bbelux1

Sure! My friends who left the boat are missing BBM.

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Doug Berry

Great move!

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FernCommodari

BBM Channels need to be accessible from personal computers as well as handheld devices or mobile devices. Especially so for a company posting or blogging or have the ability to feed a post to the channel.

Posted via CB10

tnewton3

This will take the place of "Whatsapp" type apps for sure. I can see android and iOS users making the switch.

Posted via Z10

TeaBoy

BBM don't have all the smiley face i use like whatsapp tho..

SDTRMG

I got from waiting to download it.

ciscobear

Now we have that out of the way. Can we hear his take on BB10 on the Playbook? :D

axllebeer

I would also be interested in this.

webbert

I'm a big fan of BBM for everyone. I hope Blackberry will move more and more to a service provider, my vision is a online Portal with own Blackberry email Adress, BBM messages, the protect features, similar to Google, but with one big difference : data security should be the highest priority. No use of your personal data for marketing, no spam, full privacy protection. This Portal could be for free for all Blackberry device user, others have to pay.

Posted via CB10

Jeandry Brito

Why am I not receiving an conformation message.??

Posted via CB10 on Z10

Hsuny12

My friend has the Z10 and loves it, his wife has iPhone. She loves the new BlackBerry but her family has iPhone and they all use Facetime. BBM will change this dependency and she is upgrading to Z10 in August.

Posted via CB10

PhillipStreet

Well, going to sell all of my shares now. Terrible decision.

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Jimmy Choo1

Let me say this. A lot of my friends that left blackberry for ios or android have not been this excited for years. They loved and missed BBM but quite frankly it doesn't have enough power to draw them back. Making it cross platform will make it relevant again, provided that whatsapp doesn't revamp their software to make it crazy

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joshua_sx1

It is really a good move to make BBM available in other platform. Otherwise, it will become history - no matter how great it is...

The trick part is making it fully functional as in BlackBerry's device. There is advantage and possible disadvantage. If BlackBerry will not make it fully functional and usable as in BlackBerry's phone, the purpose of making it available in other platforms is useless. The other platforms' users will experience it as not competitive as the one they are currently using. And it will become history. Making it fully functional and usable will surely spread its usage - but, the necessity to acquire BlackBerry's phone is no longer valid since the user experience the same thing even in non-native platform...

Posted via Z10

oddboy

BBRY will be out of the hardware business soon i think -- in a good way! ... license BB10 out, focus on cross platform messaging and M2M services, verticals, software. let someone else build the phones now that there's a good reference design out there!

niss63

I have been for making BBM cross platform for some time, but if Mike Lazaridis is for it, I may rethink my position.

;)

Posted via CB10

Paintedeyes

i love the idea of cross platform BBM. i prefer bbm over any other type of messaging, texting, whatsapp etc.. my family has all smart phones ios, android, bb, even windows mobile ha. being able to communicate with more people via bbm is a win for me.

gonzo uk

BBM on my ipad before my playbook. Never thought that would happen.

Posted via CB10

dawolfen

Hopefully it doesn't happen that way, but looks like it huh?

axllebeer

Damn I didn't think of it that way. I was thinking it of more of a "get ahold of the apk file and convert it for my PlayBook" situation. With I suppose isn't a whole lot better.

drahcir61

All of this is great for BlackBerry, but what about the consumer. Every phone device in the world has a notification feature that will give a sound alert, while you're on a call, to let you know that u have an incoming email or text. Not the Z10!!!!! If my child tried to text me and I'm on a call, I won't know the text was there until I'm off the call or if I just happened to look at the phone and notice the led light is blinking. This is unexceptable for the developers to leave that feature off the device. I'm gonna complain everyday, on every subject with Crackberry until someone from BlackBerry make it right. And if enough people complain or go over to android and I phone, just maybe they will fix the small (big for me) problem so I can stop complaining and start complimenting.

Posted via CB10

nucks26

When will it be released on iPhone and Android and what countries?

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m_thoroughbred

I'm an iOS user (iPhone 5) and I'm really excited about BBM. I have never owned a BB device but I know that's one of the features along with their email client that made BB so prominent. Wish it was already out. I don't know if this is good or bad for BB releasing BBM on multiple platforms but I can say that it is a bold move on their part. All I'm saying at this point is that when they do release BBM I will get as many of my friends to try it. I don't use Whatsapp cause I don't like the interface but I will definitely get BBM.

Arthur108

I'm also an iPhone 5 user and I will definitely get the BBM. All my friends and everybody at my work will also get It! Can't wait!!!! ;-)

axllebeer

I'm a WhatsApp user for the moment as I'm on Android. The only thing about this I don't like is that by the time it comes out for Android I fully intend to already have the Q10 lol.

IJKBB10

I think BBM going cross platform is smart. Definitely will be very popular with its new features and the famous D's and R's. All the once BB users who left to go to an iPhone or Android ( s3 or s4) will be the first to download it assuming it gets approved on iTunes and Google play. When mentioned BBM coming to iOS and Android everyone on those platforms were excited as they missed it and now will be able to communicate with their BB friends again on there. I know for sure all us BlackBerry users who stayed bec we love our Blackberries for whatever reason will have our contact list go up again hehe.

I like what Webbert said about BlackBerry making their own email service with built in BBM, office docs and etc.

Posted via CB10

ssbtech

With all the cross platform messaging that's available now, what does BBM offer that the others don't?

I wouldn't mind a desktop BBM client, however...

nabil114

I wonder if he still wants to work in Blackberry working on emerging technologies.

Charles McClung

Great intention.

Posted via CB10

blackberryz10 84

Will bbm video chat also work cross - platform. I'm so excited for this!

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Notcho

Why sell blackberry phones if there going to have bbm on iPhone and android. How is going to buy a BlackBerry phone is they can get bbm on some other phone. I don't get it. They make money selling phones not free bbm. I guess I'll trade in my Z10 for a iPhone 6.

Posted via CB10

JaguarXJ7

BB10 has erased any doubt or reservations I once had in BlackBerry's ability to pull off the preconceived impossible. I have several friends that left BlackBerry for various reasons; they are stoked with this revelation ... and so am I!

Posted via CB10

JaguarXJ7

Remind them what they are missing and they may come back. I'm certain this will work for many.

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techanic

I appreciate all he's done and everything, but who cares what Lazaridis says anymore. If it weren't for his (and that other tool Balsilie's) shortsightedness I am sure BlackBerrys would still be at the top of the mobile foodchain.

I think BBM in Android and iOS will be a good thing, though I hope certain features remain exclusive to BlackBerry devices...hopefully intice people on switching to the Dark side.

Posted via CB10 on my kickass media-consuming Z10

Bo_bo

They should fix the problems many of us are currently having with BBM on our blackberries.

Posted via CB10

Bo_bo

Fix our problems first*

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br14

They'll monetize it using Channels. Hence the announcement of Channels at the same time as the cross platform announcement. Insiders interviewed at BlackBerry Live indicate Channels have been on the drawing board for some time. I don't think this is a spur of the moment decision.

Businesses will be able to pay for Channel features (include analytics - already placeholders for the features are in the desktop version of BBM Channel management).

And I imagine they'll also be able to charge for Channel discovery - search terms etc.

Then there is Enterprise BBM. Imagine BlackBerry making money from every Android and iPhone licensed to a BES10 enterprise.

BlackBerry is going to transform into a services company. If they can get BBM out quickly enough to beat the competition, they should clean up.

Corpo Life

Agreed on the move but my question is why is everyone harping on the "how will it be monetized" aspect. Laying the foundation for a communications and collaboration platform that is OS, hardware, and Telecom Vendor agnostic is the ultimate goal. Think about it this way.... QNX is in your ride... which at a minimum currently would allow you to connect to any phone via Bluetooth. Let's say on iOS.... currently blackberry will need to create another app to begin leveraging the opportunities that a QNX and BB device combo would have natively. In addition this would represent a small segment at this time. Not really worth it. Plus having to manage it from a development perspective when you look at scale is difficult. The real purpose is to propel QNX, BES 10, etc... aka the other BB products. This foundational layer needs to happen and be ubiquitous to get this accomplished. Then opportunities around the products in the BB portfolio can be looked at. Looking at monetizing certain features I think is short sited as it will create niche markets for developers to create "free" alternatives like WhatsApp. Which is ultimately a distraction to BB. Can you image the programs involved is creating a pay for feature environment.... What do you think?

shomeet.p

People will love BBM on ios and android. All of my non BBM friends love BBM. Whatever issues they have with BlackBerry phone I have heard nothing bad about BBM.

Cross platform BBM will be awesome. I just hope that BlackBerry does give people on BB10 some additional advantages on staying on the native OS so that more people switch over to BB.

Posted via CB10 on my awesome Z10

xBURK

If anything, this will keep BlackBerry relevant. Look at the press it's getting already. Like the move or not, you can't dispute this fact. (I'm sure some of you will anyway)

Posted via CB10

edriss

Booo. Don't like it

Posted via CB10 on my sexy Z10

kevinnugent

Mike also said no one would buy a phone with a camera on it.

haralampinedelin

What about joyn? The last ditch effort from carriers to save revenue loss to whatsapp and skype. I thought blackberry will support it at some point. Android and ioa will definitely. It comes with messaging and video calling, and integrates with the contact list to show presence information.

Posted via CB10

Estevezz

If they do not change the way to add people then forget it. I have my first BB phone ever and I have 2 ppl on BBM. Of my 200 contacts how am I supposed to know who has BB? 50% of them live on a different continent. So far I stick with Whatsapp. Convinced my wife (Windows Phone) and couple of friends (Android) to use it and it works...cause it is so easy to add people to it...

moosbb

I almost never used BBM (just tested it looong time ago), even always had hard time to uninstall it on every of my devices :) (Not enough BB users in France, and if you have a good carrier plan, sms and mails does the job).
But sure the day it come crossplatform, I'll finally get it ;p
Using Whatsapp or Viber is a shame, and I need a worlwide messaging/calling app. Blackberry can get all ppl as me that way! Go BB go! Thats not a few users lose that will break the plan (those that buying a BB's phone just for BBM!!!!!!!!!)
I hope for exRIM that they will the rank n1 in a few months, kicking asses of concurents!
And withe the power of QNX, they can indeed really make there BBM very powerfull and controlling everything on the phone and more...

Rootbrian

Monetising it would be to charge a subscription of $1, $2, $3, $4, $5/month or more? hmm, gotta think from all angles!
Posted via my Compaq Evo D310V.