In a strange twist, the unique selling point of Research In Motion‘s BlackBerry smartphones — BlackBerry Messenger — could be made available to all smartphones on the market at some point in the near future, including that of Android and iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad 2.
On first glance, we could suggest that by giving BBM to its rivals, RIM have and will shoot themselves in the foot. The concept of smartphone messaging was first invented by RIM, and is one of the solid reasons that BlackBerry’s are still very popular with certain crowds.
Since it’s conception, a number of open-sourced, openly available, cross-mobile BBM-like messaging applications have surfaced such as WhatsApp and Kik Messenger that enable a BlackBerry user to chat to an iPhone or Android user in a BBM-like fashion.
RIM are said to be not very happy about this, and have realised that they could expand the BBM service cross platform by means of taking complete control of the messaging market on smartphones, but for a small fee.
Details are sparse for the time being, but what we do know is that RIM will offer the stripped down BBM service to Android and iOS users, which could see file transfer and location sharing disabled for non-users of BlackBerry smartphones.
Although it could potentially seem like a suicide note wrote in pencil, RIM may actually have a case here but as we said, details are rather hazy for the time being.
BGR are reporting that Android BBM is definitely going ahead at some point this year, whereas an iOS version is still in the early stages. Reasons to go with Android first are quite simple. It will be easier to develop and integrate into the open-system architecture, where as the iOS platform is more of a stumbling block.
We will provide you with more information as we recieve it, but for the time being BlackBerry users, your BBM is still exclusive to you.
How do you feel about BBM being made available cross-platform?