One of RIM’s most valuable assets is their BlackBerry Messenger service (BBM). This, along with RIM’s email security and the iconic QWERTY keyboard, is why over 77 million BlackBerry users have stayed loyal to the brand.
BBM currently has over 55 million users and a report in the WSJ suggests that RIM was potentially seeking to license the messaging service to other manufacturers and carriers. The internal code name for this initiative was called “SMS 2.0.” The reason was not only to generate additional revenue, but also take on other 3rd party messaging apps like WhatsApp, Kik Messenger, and Touch. There have been rumours that we’ll would see BBM get ported over to both iOS and Android, but nothing was officially announced. Sadly, it looks like BBM on any platform other than BlackBerry will probably never happen.
Apparently when RIM co-CEO’s Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie departed, Thorsten Heins stepped in and completely ended the BBM licensing push, “one person familiar with the matter” said that “It was not up for discussion.” However, Heins is still potentially interested in licensing options for their upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS, which is scheduled to launch later this year.