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? 

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Calob Horton

Calob Horton is an associate editor at Pocketables. He loves all technology, no matter which company it comes from. This unbiased view of the tech world allows him to choose the products that best fit his personal needs and tastes: a Microsoft Surface Pro, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and a third-gen iPad.Google+ | Twitter | More posts by Calob | Subscribe to Calob's posts

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5 thoughts on “BBM (and RIM as a whole) probably just died because of iMessage

  • You’re absolutely right. RIM needs to answer this threat quickly and soundly. The only thing stopping RiM from holding or gaining ground in this fast changing mobile game is a solid spec’d out smartphone. We’ve already got a good look at their future though QNX and there is no doubt of the solid foundation they hold in that respect. With the current delay in the release of the 9900 they have just opened the door far enough to put themselves in danger. Will RIM be able to release some top notch phones before iBBM is released. The race is on.

  • Why does anyone, Blackberry or Apple phone owner, want an instant messaging feature that only works with people who have the same kind of phone you do? That’s like buying an Android phone and only being able to call other Android users.

    Can any Apple phone kill the Blackberry because Apple doesn’t allow custom software on the devices unless you’ve got over 500 employees. That and other restrictions can’t sit too well with corporate IT.

  • Wow, talk about jumping the gun. All RIM need to do is open up BBM to other platforms, which they are planning to do anyway.

    iMessage is just another Instant Messaging, but unlike other alternatives it is not cross platform. Continue building your walled garden Apple, because we do not care.

  • I used to work in RIM for 3 years, As I knew they are busy to change for years, 3 years ago I wrote email to my manager saying that RIM is old before it really grow up, , RIM’s small company culture is the root cause, CEO may want it efficient, but some managers may even afraid of efficient person in their group, some manager know some of their members just pretend to know how to do their job efficiently, but they are blood buddy. manager protect his buddy in his group, CEO can’t do anything because the manager is his blood buddy! RIM’s management may be a typical instance in MBA course.

    Fail to change small company buddy culture to be system oriented culture, now RIM is “small company buddy culture” with large body.

    not like moto, RIM basically is a software company, if RIM live on device like moto, it will die million deaths, low efficient device producer, has to live on software, so if there software not that attractive, it will die.

  • Avatar of Daniel Davis

    “Wow, talk about jumping the gun.”

    Just look at the author of the article. Calob makes a living out of his breathless Apple love. Would love to see someone with a more reasonable point of view start writing stuff on this site about Apple.


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