BlackBerry facing dark days; pulls out Messenger on Android, iOS wildcard

Summary:BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion is struggling. Now that the iPad 2 has effectively killed the PlayBook before it was even released, RIM is throwing its wildcard options on the table.

Research in Motion is struggling. Besides its lucrative BlackBerry smartphone section, the company's is coughing up blood, its hair is falling out and the children are asking it to change the will.

RIM is getting desperate, and this is ever clear with the smartphone giant bringing its popular BlackBerry Messenger software to platforms outside the existing BlackBerry platform, including Apple's iOS and the Google Android operating system.

Now that the iPad 2 is out, RIM missed their shot to get the BlackBerry PlayBook out of the door, and is now facing consumers with a rival tablet which has all of the features that it was trying to plug the market with.

The PlayBook would have been competitive, but only if it had been released before the iPad 2 and given at least some headstart. Now, it's pretty much dead in the water.

So how can RIM get more users on the BlackBerry platform? It can't, only by selling more smartphones. And one of the only ways to get this going is to open up their BlackBerry Messenger application to other platforms.

But don't expect it to be all singing and dancing as the BlackBerry OS version is, because it won't be. Logistically, getting everything from the BlackBerry grade encryption to the network security will be impossible.

BlackBerry Messenger is incredibly secure, as data is sent via the mobile network but not to or by the mobile network. Instead the data is handled by BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion directly.

For all intents and purposes, BlackBerry Messenger for devices not running BlackBerry OS will be just like any other instant messenger for iOS and Android, and not be the secure, state intelligence defying technology that propels younger users in oppressive regimes to use it in the first place.

This move is merely to add incentive to those who are running iOS and Android with the stripped-down BlackBerry Messenger experience, to jump whole hog into the BlackBerry world.

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Topics: Hardware, BlackBerry, Mobility

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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