One of the flagship features of BlackBerry is the Messenger service (BBM for short). It’s a cross between text and instant messaging, and comes standard on all BlackBerrys, making it a ubiquitous, fast, and free messaging solution. Sources for BGR claim the RIM is planning to bring BBM to iOS and Android—which is either a brilliant or suicidal move. Many BlackBerry users depend on BBM as their primary means of communication, and there is nothing quite like it on any other platform. Kik Messenger made a valiant effort to create a cross-platform BBM-like service, but RIM blocked the app from the App World.
Giving users an additional incentive to leave is a risky move. In a world with iOS and Android, RIM software seems ancient. Many business continue to choose BlackBerry for its Enterprise support, but other than that, Messenger is one of the few “killer” features that BlackBerrys offer. Creating cross-platform BBM clients could give RIM an edge as far as messaging services go, but it will probably do little to boost BlackBerry sales—or retain current customers.