BBM (and RIM as a whole) probably just died because of iMessage
Today was the day of Apple's WWDC 2011 keynote. Among the announcements of OS X Lion and iCloud, Scott Forstall, the Senior Vice President of iPhone Software for Apple, gave a preview of iOS 5. One of the introduced features was iMessage, Apple's "BBM-killer."
Why do I say that? Well, during the keynote, Scott also told the crowd that in the relatively short time that iOS and the subsequent devices that run the operating system have been around, the company has sold over 200 million devices. That's insane, and it's obviously not slowing down for a very long time. Meanwhile, BlackBerry devices are shrinking in sales. One of the most important features for the BlackBerry diehard is BBM, but with this major announcement, I'm not so sure it's that big of a deal anymore.
iMessage will work across all iDevices that can run iOS 5. (Scroll to the bottom of this page to see if your iDevice will support iOS 5.) It works almost exactly like BBM, too. You can send text, pictures, videos, and locations, and even contacts. It definitely is something that was needed for iOS devices, and starting this fall, it will be installed on those devices, too. And that's when the hell starts for RIM and its BlackBerry line.
This is just a prediction, but I'm almost 100% sure that RIM will see a huge decline in sales. Let's face it: RIM is dying. And unless QNX is put on their phones really soon, other things are tweaked just a bit, and maybe even certain developers start getting paid to develop for their platform, RIM will continue its streak of dying and will eventually . . . die.
You might say that BlackBerry phones have other features that set them apart from others. But I'd argue that most of those are for business. And the competition is catching up. Rapidly.
Say what you want, but the BlackBerry name is sort of a dirty word in the tech blogosphere these days. Nothing seems to go right for their co-CEOs, either. They don't innovate, and they're so arrogant that anything their customers suggest go in one ear and out the other.
With everything I've said going straight against them, I'll be surprised if RIM makes it into 2012 while still being financially viable. What do you think?