Feeds

BlackBerry and Apple pie this summer. Or BBM-onna-Droid

Hey, rivals, have our loyal fans! No, wait

3 Big data security analytics techniques

BlackBerry's hugely popular social-network-in-hardware BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) will be available on iPhone and Android for free from this summer.

BBM is one of the defining features of the BlackBerry, a brilliantly designed social network that has earned the firm a compulsive following. For BBM's "members", the messenger is the primary interface to the phone, enabling multi-party chats, and the ad hoc and spontaneous creation of groups.

This was possible 20 years ago on systems like Bix and Cix, but most web-based social networks can't do this. Twitter can't do it all, and Facebook can't do it well.

In addition, BlackBerry users knew they wouldn't get any price shocks: consumers acquiring a BlackBerry could use as much BBM traffic as they wanted, and forget about exceeding data or SMS bundles and getting a nasty shock. Nice.

But as BlackBerry lost mindshare and market share, BBM began to haemorrhage users to over-the-top (OTT) cross-platform messaging apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat and Viber. WhatsApp now claims 200 million active users.

"Is it wise to be the sole provider of the BBM social network to the market - or to license it judiciously to, say, Sony - or even Apple itself, in cutdown form?" we asked last year. Now we know. BBM ports for iPhone and Android will arrive in the summer, with feature parity, BlackBerry promises. And they'll be free.

It's also making more of the social network aspects, belatedly. Specific BBM "channels" for shlebs and brands will be available, similar to Twitter's Cards feature.

The strategy is risky, since it makes the Canadian manufacturer's own hardware far less unique. It's a signal to BlackBerry's consumer base that they can, after all, go out and get an iPhone, and not lose messaging with friends.

BlackBerry must now compete on hardware and execute flawlessly. And the revenue model for BBM now evokes the Underpants Gnomes*. Maybe there isn't a revenue model there at all. But what choice did BlackBerry really have?

There's more at BlackBerry's blog, here. ®

*South Park season 2, episode 17: The "biz expert" underpants gnomes help Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny (who later meets his end under their underpants trolley) with a class project requiring business research. The gnomes business plan:

  1. Collect Underpants
  2. ?
  3. Profit?

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.