Apple's iMessage: bad news for the networks; worse news for RIM

Apple's iMessage: bad news for the networks; worse news for RIMThere was plenty to digest in Apple's iOS 5 announcement at WWDC yesterday, but one of the most exciting of the 200 new features on offer in the newly updated OS is without a doubt iMessage.

It allows iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users to message each other directly via their standard data connection, potentially cutting the need for traditional text messaging altogether – and removing one of the few unique draws RIM and BlackBerry still has in the consumer market.

By all accounts not only was the iMessage announcement a pleasant surprise for iOS users, but it was also news to the networks too – or so claims Slashgear source John Gruber of Daring Fireball – and not in a pleasant way either, considering how much cash they continue to rake in every month from good old text messages.

The fact that Apple could make such a sweeping change without letting the carriers in on its plans is a statement of just how powerful the company has become in the mobile space, but for one of its rivals it's more of a directly ominous sign.

Despite seeing its market share steadily sliding, traditional business mobile powerhouse RIM and its BlackBerry brand had found an unlikely foothold right in the heart of consumer-land with its BlackBerry Messenger service, which allows BlackBerry users around the globe to stay in touch completely free of charge.

Those same consumers can now get the same convenience from the iPhone, which should cost RIM a good few customers on the next contract upgrade cycle – customers it can't really afford to lose.

Read more about: Blackberry OSiOS

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JanSt / MOD  Jun. 7, 2011 at 19:13

RIM's only adavantage remains the pricing - you can get a budget Curve 8520 and have BBM... And even if you as a teen can afford an iPhone, what are the odds all your mates can, too?
Having said that - there are countless alternatives. Free. For any and all phones. And as long as Apple don't give me mass storage and a mem card slot, I pretty much don't care. Free call and a laundry service won't make me buy another iPhone. Certainly not for free chitter chatter :p

CTPAHHIK  Jun. 7, 2011 at 19:19

Step in a right direction, but it's a little late at this point. I think it will be very difficult to beat Google Talk + AIM as they are integrated and universally available.
How iMessage will work, if your friends do not have iPhone.

Andy247  Jun. 8, 2011 at 10:28

You can get IM clients on virtually every platform that already do this, I don't understand why the press (and blogs :p) report it as news just because it's Apple that are doing it now!

Stelph  Jun. 8, 2011 at 10:38

Despite their attempts to resist it mobile provides have been been moving towards becoming "Dumb pipe" data providers for a long time what with the worldwide communication that is developing using Skype, BBM ect, 3 realised this a long time ago and slowly but surely the other networks are starting to catch up (and starting to realise their poorly thought out one-upmanship and false advertising of unlimited internet is going to cause them all sorts of trouble.

Anyway as nice as the iMessage is, I think applications like the whatsapp is much better as it is cross platform, hopefully iMessange will get people into using this type of service but make them realise the limitations of using a proprietary system that works on only one OS and look for a service that works an all OS's


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