So BBM is finally coming to iOS and Android, but is it too late? Well, yes. Remember AOL had over 200 million users on their chat program. It’s integrated into gmail chat now today too, but who uses it now? I look at RIM as a company that will just slowly fade into oblivion, however from what I have seen, it may not even be slowly. Many people do depend upon their platform, but if that platform disappeared tomorrow, there is enough security on the other platforms to support and do what RIM does. Furthermore, if people want physical keyboards, almost all phones have some type of add-on functionality to convert the phone.
There really is no true value brought by RIM. Thus, BBM will be a nice little feature on the Android and iOS platforms, but it won’t ever compete. Viber, Whatsapp, Wechat and so forth have hundreds of millions of users that each dwarf what BBM could have. It’s sad to see this decision come so late, but the CEOs directed RIM in a fashion they thought best. They were wrong and Thorsten Heins should really stop forcing its demise quicker than later. It’s time for RIM to be taken over by a company than can handle appropriately. Who are the best suiters? Well, my first response is Google. They can swoop up and acquire RIM for not much and then tackle the security platforms and business platforms that rely upon RIM, which in turn would make Android a stronger platform. However, I truly doubt that would happen, but one never knows in this crazy tech world.
If you are a BBM or RIM user, which platform would you switch to if RIM disappeared tomorrow?