Over the last few years, Research in Motion has been losing ground in the smartphone market, owing to the ever increasing competition that it has been facing from the iOS and Android platform. The once highly popular smartphone manufacturer is now nothing more than a mere shadow of itself. The brand aims to propel itself back to being a force to reckon with, when they launch their upcoming BlackBerry 10 handsets, later this year. The probable reason the brand is still surviving is their extremely popular BlackBerry Messaging (BBM) service. Many users across the globe opt to purchase BlackBerry handsets not because of its operating system, camera capabilities or other salient features, but because of this insatant messaging service, which has now become an integral part of their lives. Amidst all this fanfare regarding the messaging service, there have been rumours floating around that Research in Motion was planning on licensing this service to other operating systems to broaden its scope. However, as per a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, the brand has no such plans and will keep their BBM service exclusive to BlackBerry smartphones.
BBM to remain solely on BlackBerry handsets
In reference to licensing the service to other operating systems, the report states, “Executives came up with a specific BBM strategy that aimed to open up RIM's proprietary network to other smartphone markers and carriers and license BBM as a service that could be used on a wide variety of devices including iPhones and Android phones, according to these people. The project was unofficially called “SMS 2.0” within the company.” The brand had even acquired a New York-based messaging company called LiveProfile, in order to implement this strategy. However, it appears that this was not meant to be as Research in Motion CEO, Thorsten Heins is completely against it. The report stated, “After RIM's two longtime chiefs, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, stepped down in January, Mr. Heins, their handpicked successor, ended the BBM push, these people said. He decided RIM shouldn't pursue licensing deals in general. “It was not up for discussion,” one person familiar with the matter said.”
As of now, the brand is merely banking on BlackBerry 10 to take them to success and if things do not improve drastically for them quickly then Research in Motion may not be able to catch up to their competition.
Let us know your thoughts on Research in Motion keeping BBM exclusive to BlackBerry handsets and do you think that it would have been the last straw for the brand, if they did indeed license the instant messaging service to other manufacturers as it would mean that all one would need to do is just pick up a handset running on a different OS and merely download the app. Would this mean that the brand may not be able to sell as many BlackBerry smartphones, if they issue the app to other manufacturers?