Samsung to rival Apple, BlackBerry in messaging: Doomed to fail?

Summary:Samsung is to rival RIM's BlackBerry Messenger and Apple's upcoming iMessage, with its own mobile instant messenger.Yep, another messaging service to drown out the masses.

Samsung is to rival RIM's BlackBerry Messenger and Apple's upcoming iMessage, with its own mobile instant messenger.

Yep, another messaging service to drown out the masses.

Dubbed 'ChatON', it comes as the latest messenger to challenge the mobile space, but with a twist. Samsung promises to support even its competitor's smartphones and tablets, unlike BlackBerry and Apple's messaging options.

ChatON will include the regular features one would expect: sending text messages, images, video and group messaging. Frankly, besides the multi-platform edge, it has nothing that jumps out to me as anything one should get overly excited about.

But will users actually use it?

Revealed yesterday that one in four U.S. phones is a Samsung, with Android the most common operating system on the market, Samsung has even more marketshare than the BlackBerry maker and Apple put together.

Statistics show that users will, by default, use ChatON almost whether they like to or not. A good proportion of Samsung's user base will use the application because it is there and present on the phone to use.

But those outside the walls of Samsung's handset dominance will all but willingly stick to the applications and programs they know best -- even though Apple and BlackBerrys still control only a small minority of the total marketshare.

So, let's drill down who uses what.

BlackBerry Messenger is available on BlackBerry handsets and the PlayBook tablet. The tablet failed to really take off, unlike the TouchPad that had its sales boosted massively through what can only be described as an 'epic' firesale.

iOS devices, including the iPhone and iPad, are still on the rise, but command only a small proportion of the total marketshare compared to Samsung -- which nearly quadruples Apple's share.

But iMessage, the killer BlackBerry competitor, is part of iOS 5, which has yet to be released. Though it took a keen focus at the WWDC 2011 conference this year when it was announced, Samsung has a good month or so to catch up on users it would ordinarily miss out on due to Apple's branding dominance.

But because only a third of all Americans own a smartphone, we can safely bet that Samsung's smartphone market can also be slashed by a third -- meaning Samsung only has around 17 percent, out of the 40 percent marketshare it has, of its phones running a smartphone operating system.

Even though Samsung leads the way, ahead of Apple and BlackBerry, based on yesterday's figures, combine the weight of both Apple and BlackBerry and Samsung has its work cut out for itself.

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Topics: Collaboration, Apple, BlackBerry, Browser, Enterprise Software, Samsung, Social Enterprise, Software

About

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

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