Feeds

BlackBerry slides crown jewels into Samsung: BBM Android app touted

First, Africa ... rest of the world to follow?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

BlackBerry is sharing its crown jewels - BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) - with non-BlackBerry devices for the first time: and the lucky punters are Samsung fandroids in Africa.

The instant-messaging app will be free, compatible with the Android-powered Galaxy range of handsets, and offer all the important BBM functionality including receipted delivery and group chats. It will open BBM to a whole new audience; the messaging software is considered a killer exclusive feature keeping users loyal to BlackBerry.

While BlackBerry handsets are perceived as enterprise devices they have over the past decade, seeped into the youth market where free messaging is a killer feature. SMS remains hugely popular within that demographic and BBM offers a comparable, if improved, experience without the expense.

So predominant is BBM amongst 'da yoof that the company's secure messaging service was supposedly used by looters to organise themselves beyond the reach of law enforcement during the 2011 London riots. That was nonsense, of course: BlackBerry is a law-abiding company that cooperated fully with the police, while looters just followed the camera crews to get where the action was, but the accusation demonstrates how popular BBM has become outside the office.

But with customers buying a BlackBerry handset just to get into the BBM network the company is taking a risk opening it up to competing platforms, though BBM has distinct advantages over the competition and could grab a decent slice of an expanding market.

Samsung is also taking some risk, though perhaps not so much. The South Koreans have been trying to get their own ChatOn service adopted by youth, or anyone else really, without much success. ChatOn is part of Samsung's if-anyone-else-does-it-we'll-do-it-too strategy and lies unused on most of the company's hardware.

BBM will be integrated into the Samsung Communications Hub, as an addition to ChatOn and the other messaging services that Samsung supports by default, and should spread outside Africa pretty quickly. But the long-term implications of opening the BBM platform will take a good while to resolve. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.