Could teenagers be the saving of BlackBerry?

Could teenagers be the saving of BlackBerry?Think about business phones and it won't be long before the name BlackBerry pops into your head. But things haven't been going too well for BlackBerry maker RIM of late, with iOS and Android both encroaching deeper and deeper into traditional BlackBerry turf.

If RIM does have a trump card up its sleeve, however, it's the BBM messaging service, and it seems its popularity among 15-24-year-olds is proving an unexpected cause for optimism for the company.

The Financial Times quotes analysts from consultancy Mobile Youth as saying instant messaging apps are becoming so popular that text messaging is now on the decline and will fall by a fifth among the UK's 15-to-24-year-olds in the next two years.

And that's good news for BlackBerry and its 39 million BBM users. The instant messaging service allows BlackBerry users to communicate with each other completely free regardless of location, and even if they're only on pay-as-you-go.

It's a formula that's proving particularly attractive to younger mobile users who typically can't get a contract, which is about is far away from the core BlackBerry business user as it's possible to get.

“We’ve seen SMS usage fall among young people and the main driver is BlackBerry,” said Mobile Youth director Graham Brown.

Read more about: Blackberry OS

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JanSt / MOD  Apr. 27, 2011 at 12:08

See, just like analyst guru Gartner predicted 5 years ago - only totally NOT :p

Stelph  Apr. 27, 2011 at 12:29

Yup, the younger market certainly like BBM, as do travellers or people with extended familes across the globe since its usally cheaper to BBM someone rather than call or text, if Blackberry got off their butts and sorted out thier OS so it was comparable with Android and iOS in the apps/diversity area then they would make a killing

applestinks  Apr. 27, 2011 at 12:34

APPLE and ANDROID will fail soon...

CTPAHHIK  Apr. 27, 2011 at 13:59

BB Messenger seems to be too slow for me. I prefer AIM, underlying OS is not relevant.

louiselouise  Apr. 27, 2011 at 14:49

The teens certainly do love their BBM! My 12 year-old niece loves her Blackberry Curve 8520, and all her friends have one.

She commented that my Android phone (Desire HD) is too "complicated", though I'm sure she'd get used to it if she had one.

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 27, 2011 at 16:14

I think it's kinda positive - to see that they care more about functionality than appearances. Seems they care more about a thing to use in order to communicate with others, than about having a thing to talk about ;)

And @CTPAHHIK you are right in so far as AIM is faster and more user-friendly, but that is missing an important point: BBM is as close to free as any service gets...that is how they 'catch'em' ;)

Admin  Apr. 27, 2011 at 16:46

I've noticed the trend of BBM among teens also. In Canada the major networks had insanely cheap deals on BB Curve etc which meant that the teen and young adult demographic picked up a lot of these handsets. So I think the combination of those cheap offers combined with BBM being free and very much like IM means BB actually have a strong foothold in a young demographic.

However, my informal polling also indicated most of those would prefer an iPhone if they could afford it....

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 27, 2011 at 16:56

I suppose, yes - if someone offered them an iPhone with free IM, they'd go for it. However, in the meantime they get used to decent keyboards, good battery life, and fast light data transfer. #thatllteachthem :p

iamdamien  Apr. 27, 2011 at 17:55

I just don't like the little keys on the BB phone range; and the infuriating noise they make when pressed! I hate going into the office where I work and hearing the keys being pressed! But I suppose they are great value for teens and children. I wish I had that kind of free msg service about 10 years ago when I was in my early teens. I remember everyone getting a massive boner over the Genie sims back in the day! And people selling them for like £30 on eBay!

vipertx91  Apr. 27, 2011 at 21:51

blackberry needs to get their heads out their a$$e$ and team up with android an create a superphone

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 27, 2011 at 22:46

Somehow I find that unlikely. But heck, soon there'll be Nokia WP handsets, so what do I know?!?!?!

martinwallis  Apr. 28, 2011 at 11:33

LiveProfile FTW! :-P

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 28, 2011 at 12:53

the key noises can be disabled. The folks in your office are just rude/ignorant - or they are trying to drive you nuts :p

iamdamien  Apr. 29, 2011 at 12:13

Haha. Yeah Jan they do it on purpose; I mean the actual physical noise of the keys too! That drives me insane; it's just the high pitched click when the button is pressed. Virtual Keyboards FTW!


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