BlackBerry is renowned for pioneering the smartphone, although the tides have quickly changed over the past five years. From 50 percent market share in 2009, to less than 3 percent today, BlackBerry has struggled immensely in an industry that is constantly changing. Apple, Samsung and Google have all entered the market and driven millions of users to products like the iPhone, iPad and Galaxy lineup of smartphones and tablets.
Despite its difficulties, the Waterloo-based company is still believed to have a valuable asset in BlackBerry Messenger. The messaging service makes its long-awaited — and delayed — debut on iOS and Android today, but perhaps far too late. Let’s face it. People have moved on. I don’t know what’s worse: the fact that Kik Messenger has a cool 50 million unique users, or that it’s located across the street from BlackBerry. WhatsApp only adds insult to injury, and don’t discount Viber.
BlackBerry is among the last of a string of companies to launch a cross-platform messaging service, and it is now getting trumped at its own game. I do think that BBM on iOS and Android will gain some early traction on those platforms, but I don’t think it will have enough sustained competition to make any of its rivals worried. If BlackBerry is looking for a saving grace, this is not it.
Will you be installing BBM on your iPhone or Android smartphone?