Every now and again, a story comes along that can instantly be identified as smelling like male cow poo but is so far out, we have to mention it just in case.
And here's one of those now: the idea that the soon-to-be-announced-though-not-officially-in-existence-yet iPhone 5 will come with BlackBerry Messenger built in.
Now, this is based on a post over at GSM Arena and is not backed up by any fact so could be a load of old baloney. But we thought we'd mention it anyway as the concept is quite interesting.
BBM is one of BlackBerry's success stories. It's gone from being a part of the handset infrastructure that nobody really used to being one of the main selling points.
The idea that users can send messages to each other for free is particularly attractive to those on pay-as-you-go plans. Not just that, but the messages being so tightly encrypted by RIM is also a big plus for users as police dealing with the recent London riots will reluctantly attest.
But the idea that RIM would happily farm this out to one of the companies it is doing its best to take on seems pretty far fetched. Even if they are set to get a ton of money out of it as the article suggests.
Let's not forget that RIM has licensed its technology out before. Cast your minds back to the days when Siemens made mobiles and the niche SK65.
Here BlackBerry happily allowed another manufacturer to use its technology (though this was in the days that nobody else did push email). Incidentally, the handset didn't last long with most power users sticking to RIM's own brand.
Move onto 2011 and there are a multitude of IM clients available. Everything from MSN to ICQ to Skype, PingChat and our personal favourite, WhatsApp.
The majority of these are multi-platform meaning you can use them across iOS, Android and BB handsets. Why would Apple bother paying to use BBM when it could quite easily push one of these as the latest technology and lead the majority of users into thinking it is much better (they're managing it in the whole Flash vs HTML5 argument to a certain extent, some would say.)
Or, invent their own type of messaging platform. Which is actually what Cupertino has done. iMessage is a feature of iOS5 (currently in BETA) that will allow users on the Apple platform to message each other free of charge in the same way that BBM works. Surely it's madness to launch your own product at the same time you buy another solution?
If BBM were to appear on any other handset (and this is a massive, humungous "IF"), we'd put our money on Android for the simple reason that BlackBerry is sort of opening up to this competitor by allowing Market apps to work on its PlayBook device. It makes sense to consolidate a messaging solution here more than with Apple.
Finally, any implementation of BBM on iOS is a software issue not hardware. So any announcement of BBM tie in would surely have been made back when Apple launched iOS5 earlier this year (the same time it launched iMessage) not when the actual hardware is unveiled.
If it were true, it would also have encouraged people torn between an iPhone or a BlackBerry to hold off for iPhone 5 so they got the best of both worlds.
Anyway, there isn't long to go 'til we find out now with the rumours firmly pointing to an announcement on October 4th.
Although another source in the GSM Arena article suggests October 21st for a major-markets release date, we're also putting some money on the 15th as that seems to be the one mentioned most consistently.