Once a dominant force in the smartphone industry, BlackBerry has lost its way in recent years, and having fallen way behind the Apple iPhone in the pecking order, the Canadian outfit has called out its Cupertino rival in the battle of the IM services. Having opened BBM up to iOS, Android and Windows Phone recently, the company is now busy trying to sell the once-popular instant-messaging service to the masses, and as is the case with most tech companies nowadays, BlackBerry has gone on the offensive against its fierce rival’s corresponding iMessage.
Since launch, iMessage has had its fair share of teething issues. Spammers have had a field day in targeting users, and downtime has constantly plagued the service. But things have improved, and for speed and security, it’s among the best in the business.
BlackBerry Messenger has long since been lauded as the strongest of the IM services, but with the company behind it having dropped off the map as far as the smartphone industry is concerned, BBM has also suffered the effects. The decision to expand to iOS and Android was seen as a wise, albeit belated move, and with its multi-platform status now official, the onus is on BlackBerry to topple its competitors, and as well as noting of BBM’s anti-spam features– an area in which iMessage is glaringly bereft, the company also talks about how users can actively block unsolicited messages.
The final point made, ironically, is that iMessage “is only available on Apple products“, something that has already bitten BlackBerry on the rear as we all know. It seems less than likely that Apple will follow suit and open up to different platforms any time soon, but of everything outlined, the fact that iMessage is an Apple-only enterprise is certainly holding the iPhone maker back.
The problem BlackBerry has here is not that its points aren’t valid – by and large, the assessment is fair – but that folks tend only to migrate to services also adopted by their friends and acquaintances. For example, I use WhatsApp for the purpose of conversing with almost everyone, and while it has its issues – the inability to send full-size images and videos being one — I’m not going to seek alternatives unless those I talk to are doing the same.
Thus, despite its previous popularity, BBM has a real job on its hands catching WhatsApp, iMessage, or any other thriving service. iMessage may be a bit of a spam magnet, but given that it runs natively on iOS and OS X these days, it’s unlikely that those using it now will cease to do so.
What do you think of BlackBerry’s strategy? Would you ditch your current IM app for BBM? Do share your thoughts below.
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