WhatsApp CEO mocks Apple for copying WhatsApp features in iOS 8; clearly forgets he systematically ripped off BBM feature by feature

By Kevin Michaluk on 3 Jun 2014 08:46 am EDT

Having followed the mobile game for a longgggg time now, it's very clear that everybody copies everybody. Yes, some borrow more than others. And some do it quietly, while others get on stage and take credit for inventing features that have been around elsewhere for years.

Yesterday at Apple's WWDC conference, Tim Cook and his team got on stage and announced a bunch of new features in iOS 8. Some were innovative, while others clearly were "stolen". You can read our article here which sums up the new features in iOS 8 and highlights the ones that look BlackBerry 10 like.

Also joining in the fun of pointing out what Apple borrowed for iOS 8 was the recently-turned gabillionarie CEO of WhatsApp, Jan Koum. Following the event, Jan tweeted out on his personal account very flattering to see Apple "borrow" numerous WhatsApp features into iMessage in iOS 8 #innovation

I couldn't help but laugh out loud when I read this tweet from Jan. I mean... YES, the implementation Apple went with in iOS 8 for sending voice messages is a rip off of WhatsApp. But seriously?! Anybody who's followed the development of WhatsApp from its earliest days knows that WhatsApp 100% systematically ripped off of BBM feature by feature. WhatsApp shamelessly stole. I'm a BBM user and also a WhatsApp user and have been for a long time. WhatsApp deserves a ton of credit for the way they executed their business plan and grew to a massive user base and a huge valuation and sale to Facebook, but to now see the founder take a stab at somebody else in regards to innovation is completely laughable given how much of the WhatsApp experience is based on other people's innovations.

I've never met Jan, but I've heard a lot of good things about him from people who have worked with him. I'd love to meet him one day. Hell, I'd love to visit his house - I'm sure Jan can and will buy himself a massive place with lots of huge glass windows given all his new-found and undoubtedly hard-earned riches. But you know what they say - people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. And I think those are words of wisdom for Jan, given his position. #stayclassy

Reader comments

WhatsApp CEO mocks Apple for copying WhatsApp features in iOS 8; clearly forgets he systematically ripped off BBM feature by feature


Yet BlackBerry is silent...

Maybe BlackBerry wasn't the first to bring some of those features Apple ripped, but it's not fair to let Apple take the credits alone in the end.

It's a good time now to speak up Mr. Chen

Yup. I think BlackBerry should go ape, no, KING KONG on this, go world wide public and let everyone and their dog know BlackBerry did it first.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry is like that nerd doing the homework for bullies and those bullies taking the credit for the work!!!

 Posted via CB10 on my  Z30

Blackberry was once the "bully" in the mobile world. Being satisfied and complacent, got them knocked to the bottom of the industry. We can moan and whine about who is copying and ripping of who. The fact is that every one does it. Message to Blackberry: Either stay ahead or keep up with the changing trends, or get out of the game.

Blackberry always.....


BB jacked WebOs. The first thing I noticed about the Z was how much is 'felt' like my Palm Pre.

Damn. I miss PALM.

Interesting, I thought BB bought the company that developed portions of the UI and implemented them legally...

Nobody is going to be impressed. Everyone knows about those features on other platforms. Apple mostly plays catch-up and the user base knows this. This "biggest ever" will be very quickly forgotten after the echoes of the big "thud" fade away.

Z30 Vivo Brasil

Unfortunately that would be more of a mouse that roared scenario, that would just bring scorn from American tech media. We know. That's what matters.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Chuckle. Who cares?. No one lives in the past except perhaps... techies wishing for the glory days of....... (insert brand, tech or tool here).

Posted via CB10

I agree, this is where BB has always fallen short, grab this opportunity by the Ba@@$ and run with it. You didn't start this but you can finish it. So hard for them to get good press and I hate to see them at the plate watching another juicy one go by. Bullies are easy not to like, guys/ gals who stand up for them selves are easy to like as well. Stand up Mr. Chen.

So where do we go from here?
Leader Apple
Second WhatsApp
and far behind BBM?
Regret, BB can't seem to stay on top of many things.

When iOS is cross platform, then maybe they could claim leadership.Until then they aren't even in the messaging discussion.

Much depends upon the audience.
How many iP's are in the hands of the users v BB's and BBM on Android?

BB mouse v Apple lion

It is hard to compete when you don't have the size.

Things change very rapidly in IM matters.
What happens today will be forgotten in the near future.
(A short time ago remember when BB was the king in smart phones. And now?)

Even the mighty elephant fears the tiny mouse...

I'm sure apple, samsung, google, everyone has blackberry in the back of their minds scared that if and when they bb makes a comeback they will have to take a backseat.

Yeah, at some point you would think there is room for a BlackBerry lawsuit lol.

Posted via CB App from my Galaxy S4 Mini with an LED CrackLight ;-)

Agreed. Go Mr Chen ! Assert BlackBerry! I can't do it alone, especially in Korea!

Posted via CB10

I'm still wishing to meet BlackBerry founder, Mike Lazaridis! In all these years it's never happened. Though, I am kind of scared of big Mike to be honest. :p

So funny how you've been covering BB news & info all these years, Mike has never approached you but as soon as Thor and then Chen landed as CEO they were in contact with you almost immediately.

Meet? Don't you mean "interview"? If you ask for an interview on behalf of Mobile Nations, that might actually get you somewhere, no?

I actually thought that Apple was a lot more humble this time. I used to cringe every time they used the words ‘innovative’, ‘amazing’, ‘stunning’, etc. Not so much this time. They focussed on delivering features and especially appeasing their developers. The only people who use the word innovation this time are those who mock them, just as Koum here. I hope that Apple can challenge Whatsapp now more effectively. That company has been sitting still for far too long.

It is not business smart to go publicly bashing your competitors even if they did "borrow" some features... let's be honest, nobody who ever picked on the popular kid ever got further ahead for doing so...

You need to improve your product offering above the others, so put resources behind that instead of wasting any time claiming who did what first.

Posted via CB10

I agree. See what your competition has done, exploit their weaknesses while building on your strengths to bring a better product to market. The end user doesn't care who did it first, only who does it best at this moment. Ideas are great, but execution is the key.

[URL = "bbmc:C0018C14B"] Join She, Me, Her: I am Woman[/URL] Posted via CB10 on BlackBerry Z30

I disagree, samsung has based it's entire marketing on making fun of iphone for years and it worked.

Posted via CB10

I don't know about everyone else, but I've never heard anything like that come from anyone i know that owns a Samsung device.

"I bought this phone because their commercial making fun of apple was funny"....

Like i said, you put your money in the product not in the bad mouthing of competitors products

Posted via CB10

Everyone copies from everyone. Not new, and not elusive to one industry over another.

Posted via CB10 - Z30STA100-5/


Get off the Android trip and get some BlackBerry news and articles out, in true CB fashion that we love. Well done this one!

When you compare or report about Apple, please include how it relates to BBRY, this one does for sure....

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Sad how most of the comparisons are with whatsapp rather than bbm on the big net (e.g. BBC) and bbm isn't even mentioned as competing in the space even though the 'familyzone' or whatever is basically bbm groups but limited to 6

Check Out [URL="bbmc: C0008DDD1"]TechCraze[/URL]

RIM had the opportunity to open BBM to all platforms years ago. They chose not to. Instead they took Apple's approach by locking down BBM to BlackBerry handsets; "forcing" those who want BBM to buy a BlackBerry handset. Arguably, BBM was one of the best things RIM had to offer consumers but they kept it themselves. WhatsApp saw the potential and ran with it.

So does it matter if RIM did it first considering the majority of the World did not even know it existed?

Well said! I completely agree with you on that.

As for your question, I don't think it matters whatsoever in my opinion. No one cares who invented first and whatnot nowadays. Pretty much everybody copies each other.

I think a lot of people know BBM exists, but find it less useful day to day. In the US, unlimited texting and iMessage permeate everything. As annoying as it is for people trying to leave iOS, making it automatic for everyone who has it over simple SMS made their user base massive immediately. If BBM did the same thing, made all your conversations BBM instead if both parties had BlackBerrys then I think more people would use/stick with it.


I agree. Sadly I had a BB for months before I even knew what BBM was. iMessage is just there and doesn't require me to do anything I wouldn't normally do when sending a text.

With no ability to use BBM on multiple devices simultaneously and the fact that there is no way to transfer chats from one device to another BBM is still and will continue to be a fringe(ish) player. Yes they have a large user base but they will never be at the top without some serious improvements.

And some people are deleting BBM from their hand sets, because it is not working right for them for what ever reasons; Can't wait for the end of the summer to get here. And I'm tired of people sending me invites to the Glide App.

BlackBerry 10

Blackberry keyboard with the predictive words above the keyboard is coming to apple and a lot of what's app and bbm features blackberry and what's app should take apple to court I'm sure they could get something out of this

The one and only Iphone wallpaper channel C001F26A0 no hate please I personally own a Q10 and 9900 :-)

"Blackberry keyboard with the predictive words above the keyboard is coming to apple"

Bro, that's just swiftkey on the keyboard... The same company that's launching in iOS in a couple of months and has been the top keyboard of choice on android years before it was introduced in BBOS.. nothing blackberry there.

The predictive words on top of the keyboard. But BlackBerry s is the words appearing on the grey guitar frets which you can swipe. That's BlackBerry s!!!

 Posted via CB10 on my  Z30

To put it in perspective, if you can't protect it under patent law, it's fair game for others to use.

@kevin this is a case of memory loss, as such, nothing like a few tweets to his personal account to juggle his memory. I've heard it's therapeutic :).

Posted via CB10

I wonder where most of these features originated? I would imagine that Palm and Microsoft had related patents. What's the difference if a messenger program is on a mobile or a PC? User interface, whoopie. :)

- Disco Trooper CB10Z10

Why can't everybody just leave Apple alone and let them do their thing: continue to rip everybody off. They are very very very important, remember: they have 98% of the top 500 companies covered. o did I mention they are very important?
Z10 STL100-1, OS

In west Philadelphia born and raised on the playground was where I spent most of my days, Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool And all shootin some b-ball outside of the school, When a couple of guys who were up to no good Started stealing BB features in my neighborhood, I got in one little fight and John Chen got scared He said 'You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel Air'

We need to let the world know this and tweet that BlackBerry 10 has the interactive notification 1st

Posted via CB10 App

I think Crackberry clearly forget the KINGSLEY Quote " The enemy of my enemy to be an ally".Why bash Whatsapp when BlackBerry and Whatsapp could both bash Apple.Seriously Developers are fleeing from BB bcz how much they support the platform the developers will eventually get there *** bitten off.I am sry to say but this is Such a misleading article.Crackberry should have started Article With the Title
" WhatsApp Ripped!!You Are Not Alone"

I agree, after all WhatsApp has kept support for both BlackBerry 10 and OS platforms.

Loved the Q10 but now it's Z30 power time!!!

We could see Apple having to dip into their off shore accounts to battle it out with BlackBerry in the not so distant future in the courts over Apple ripping them off. As soon as Apple brings that money back into the USA to pay for their legal fees they'll have to start paying tax on it something they haven't done for years; something that is also hurt the US economy greatly.

Sadly lots of companies around the world avoid paying taxes. The rest of, however, pay for it in 10+ hour "emergency room" wait times, nonexistent family doctors, roads that lack the required, annual maintenance, and the constant threat that even more services will be axed.

Oh wait, wait... that can't be right. Businesses would never do anything to be bad citizens! What was I thinking!


- Disco Trooper CB10Z10

Chuckle. That's pretty funny.

America and her economy is on the trend down for simple reasons of expensive military misadventures... like so many declining empires before it. There are many governments applauding this forum and passionate posts about IM, games and discounted movies. Not America though.

Posted via CB10

IMHO, WhatsApp is a cheap BBM knock-off with obvious shortcomings (no "message read" confirmation, no "so-and-so is typing a message notification, no voice/video calling, not free ....) and no 'real' discernible advantages.
Uninstalled that POS a loooonnng time ago ...

That quick reply (or instant reply) is a nasty copy. But, the lack of marketing is what BB is missing so someone will market it for them and use it has one of their new feature/s. I am seeing where apple needs other platforms because they cannot come up with anything really ground breaking anymore- it is easier for them to just copy it from other platforms. I know BGR and their followers are rejoicing that apple is the number one platform because of their new features (which other platforms have been using for years), but who would know that BB have that feature (other than us BB users)?

OMG, i seen the iOS8 'multitask screen' and it is no word of a lie exactly like BlackBerry 10 Active Frames, the way open apps are displayed like cards they have copied from BlackBerry 10, the swiping gestures, they have copied blatantly from BlackBerry 10.

Posted via CB10

Apple has always sucked... But the iSheep are to dumb down to understand this. I can not remember the last time they had their own idea. BB is by far the best way to go!

What is the point of claiming to be the best or having the best when you don't market it. If the masses don't know that it is the best, it can't really be the best, can it?

Blackberry always.....

As they say in any sports game nobody remembers who played better or "should have" won the match, they only remember the winner

Doesn't do anyone any good whining about it. Blackberry could have made BBM cross-platform years ago and stopped any other messaging services in their tracks. They as usual have the innovation, but lack the implementation.

Posted via CB10

In the UK we have a cultural trope that 'we invented it and others made money out of it'.

It seems self-delusion knows no boundaries.

I agree, if you can't patent it, it's up for grabs.

Is it only the losers who whine like this?

This is capitalism, not a sunday-school outing.


Z10 and proud! Z10: conceived, designed and built under the leadership of Thorsten Heins. Respect!

They call themselves synonymous with exclusivity but are merely thieves of ideas...And his imessage stinks, was a stupid and cheap copy of bbm!

Posted via CB10

File a lawsuit. Apple is doing to Samsung and vice versa. It doesn't matter who will win, But the media will bring attention to the masses. Thats a plus.

Look at Ronald sterling. He jacked up the price of LA Clippers and sold it for 2 Billion dollars after the NBA Kicked him out of ownership for making racist comments towards African Americans. Now His suing The NBA for another 1 Billion dollars for kicking him out.

The point is lawsuits doesn't have to make sense. If you got clever lawyer like he has advising him from start to finish , it will seem to make sense. He may win or lose but he definitely will put fear in other NBA owners.

BlackBerry should learn from this. Even if you lose you still win!

BlackBerry Lead
Do Not Follow

Looper Back Make Corleone Offer for TrackPad on BB10

Companies ripping off companies ripping off companies ripping off companies... it happens.

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

Kevin you are the Epitome of #stayclassy ! Thanks. You have an amazing knack for keeping the conversation at an = level. We are all in the same game. We all Borrow and "clearly steal" from platform to platform........Yet... CrackBerry has a lot of Modesty!

Cause we kick @#$


How true.
Personally I would've written, "Men who live in glass houses shouldn't get stoned"

[I]Posted via CB10 on the Z10[/I]

It's. The top dogs that make the noise. Therefore nobody cares if bbm got ripped off. If one day bbm be able to climb to the top of the ladder then MAYBE people would pay attention when it make such claim. Right now it has several rivals to beat such as Line, which is huge and oh it has stickers that bbm borrowed. Lol.

Q10 SQN100-3 PCCW Hong Kong (non-BIS)

This feature this feature that thing and innovative and copied and borrowed sh** will just generate a war.

Posted via CB10

Haha so funny, an ex-bb employee running a new company using BlackBerry like tech, calling out apple!

Posted Via CB10 on my Zed 30

I replied lol @jankoum just as flattering to see you do the same to #BBM Lmao #TeamBlackBerry #BlackBerry10 @BlackBerry

 Z30STA100-5/ * on ATT 

Whatsapp feature is having tons of users and non-buggy apps for Android and iOS. BlackBerry should copy that!

Posted via CB10

I love BBM, but it's performance lately cross-platform is embarrassing. I've been pushing people to use it instead of whatsapp, and what do we get? Undelivered messages, error sending messages, and messages reaching after hours sometimes.

Posted via
my LG G Flex

Bro it's couldn't have been said better whatapp stole each n every thing from bbm. Shame shame poppy shame all the girls know your name.

Posted via CB10

I think we can go further back in time and state that IRC chat was around for a very long time before BBM, WhatsApp, or iMessage. Remember ICQ and AIM? Well both were also around decades before BBM. So when it comes to Instant Messaging (IM) or as it was called before "chat", not even BlackBerry can start moaning about "stolen features". Maybe the UNIX guys from the 1970's should speak up ;-)

Hahaha true bbm is legend of all chats ever developed or to be developed.

The only thing what bbm lacked was surprise which is covered up in all aspects now.

Posted via CB10