I will be honest. I hate BlackBerry. Their hardware and design is archaic, their services are pre-historic. And overall, the brand is just not “me”. I couldn’t relate to it, you know. That feeling one gets when one sees a gadget, “this device personifies me”, has never happened with me for any BlackBerry device. Maybe all that is about to change.
BlackBerry announced that its famous BlackBerry Messenger (or BBM) will now be available on Android and iOS. Truth be told, many iOS fanbois and Droids had their eyes on it for years. But then, there were alternatives. Many. Alternatives.
Out of countless new messengers bubbling like mushrooms, the most famous one is called WhatsApp Messenger, a cross-platform messenger linking all the possible OS users through one app. Perhaps this was the final nail in the dying giant’s coffin.
The one propriety USP BlackBerry had, was now out in the open, available to anyone who had a phone, yes, not even a smart phone but just a feature phone, let alone a BlackBerry.
But, with Android and iOS spreading faster than a forest fire, it’s only wise to jump on-board. So, here it is. The historic day some claimed would never come. BlackBerry is now going to be available for Android and iOS.
Frankly, I am excited. Why? One, because it’s something new. And two because, I want to know what was all the excitement was about for all these years.
In the face of change.
So will this change anything for BlackBerry? Yes. People’s attitude towards BB to being with. BlackBerry Messenger was the father of instant messaging. They were considered the pioneers of a service that was the next best thing after SMS.
Today however, other services offer tons of options over and above a simple text message. From pictures, videos, audio clips, to the new-age stickers. So what does BBM bring to the table that others can’t or aren’t able to?
A promise, thanks to their own private encrypted servers. Now before you say all the current services have their own servers too, I want to point out that ‘encrypted’ is the keyword here.
BlackBerry is perhaps the only name (after Microsoft), that brings to mind the word ‘security’, today in a world where hackers and governments alike, are ready to cull out all your personal information in a blink.
So this will at least reinstate some amount of confidence back into the minds of the sceptics who, rightly so, argue the safety of all the messaging services today. And BlackBerry Messenger is more than that. It is the knight in a shining armour, the ace up their sleeves, for a brand that has around 1.5 % market share today.
Just like the old days…
BlackBerry has announced that it is open for a buy-out. But the question is, who would want to buy a dying giant? If rumours are to be believed, BlackBerry would wither part by part. Some companies are interested in the patent portfolio it holds, some in their proprietary hardware and keyboard and some in their data encryption techniques.
It is difficult to say what the end will be like, but with all the buzz about their famous BBM crossing the gates of BB OS, BlackBerry surely must have become nostalgic, reminiscing the days gone by.
PS: I would like to see a BBM for Windows Phone too, but looks like that isn’t going to happen so easily or any time soon.