Every WWDC keynote we've joked that Mike Lazaridis from BlackBerry maker RIM would surprise everyone by joining Steve Jobs on stage to announce BlackBerry Connect and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) for iPhone. Then we laugh and marvel out our new copy and paste, multitasking, or whatever Apple chooses to invent that year.
Our sibling site CrackBerry.com has put the whole BBM on iOS (and every other platform) issue right back on their front page, however, with Kevin asking the question:
So should RIM do it? Personally, I think they should. I get the reasons why they wouldn't. RIM makes money from selling smartphones, and right now BlackBerry Messenger is one of those hooks that keeps people on BlackBerry and actually attracts some people to BlackBerry (I've heard stories from carrier reps where individuals walk into the store and ask for the phone that does BBM). But I don't think this reasoning holds up long-term. As soon as a cross-platform BBM-style client emerges in the smartphone space and attains critical mass (ie. Kik or another), even if not as fully-featured as BlackBerry Messenger the hook of BBM starts to diminish. If it's inevitable that a cross-platform BBM alternative is going to emerge down the road, is it not better for RIM to be the ones who put it out? There are some iPhone owners out there who no matter what are never going to own a BlackBerry (Apple fanboys!), but I bet those same people would rock BlackBerry Messenger on their iPhone.
I agree with Kevin. Look at what licensing ActIveSync has done for Microsoft. I'd prefer to a non-proprietary protocol -- I like that I can switch from iPhone to Android, Windows to Mac, Outlook to Mail.app and my email stays my email -- but I use Twitter and that's the same model BBM could take.
What do you think? Should BBM be available on iPhone? Head on over to CrackBerry.com's poll and let your vote be heard, then come back here and tell us why or why not.