The creation of a Blackberry Messaging app for Android and iPhone is a major step forward for Blackberry, but it is also quite the risk. With the number of BlackBerry users slowly declining over the last couple of years, BlackBerry knew that they needed to make moves in order to attract more customers. By making their famous BBM system available to Android and iPhone users, they are opening up their business to a much wider audience.
The timing is right for Blackberry to release their BBM messaging app to Android and iPhone users. To counteract their declining customer base, and bring back some of their customer base, Blackberry had to do something. By making the BBM service available on other platforms and services, Blackberry will generate much needed, positive publicity about their app and the company as a whole. Personally I have been quite fascinated by the BBM messaging system. I’ve had friends who had or have Blackberries and absolutely love them and the BBM messaging system. As someone who has the iPhone and is just used to ordinary texting, the BBM messaging system seems like a strong upgrade over texting. The BBM app is also ideal for people who can’t afford or do not have large data plans. BBM is also well liked by many travelers as you can use BBM anywhere in the world, while some other texting services may not be compatible overseas. With an expected release date sometime this summer, it will definitely be an app worth checking out.
While this all could be very good for Blackberry, there is a potential risk here for Blackberry. With this new availability of the free BBM app on Androids and iPhone, there is the potential that many Blackberry users could jump ships from Blackberry to an iPhone or an Android, thus taking away business from Blackberry. Why could this happen? Some current Blackberry customers could only be using Blackberry because of the BBM messaging. If current Blackberry customers have only stuck with Blackberry because of the BBM messaging, then they will be very tempted to switch to the iPhone or Android. This is not what Blackberry would want. This would prove the app to be quite counter productive to Blackberry’s bottom line. Overall this app is a gamble. It could provide great publicity, and potentially bring in more business to Blackberry. Or the app could backfire and Blackberry will continue to lose more customers to the iPhone and Android. And with new incentive for BBM fanatics to leave Blackberry and still have their beloved BBM could be very bad for Blackberry. What do you think this bold move will do for Blackberry?