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Apple's iMessage arrives to lure BlackBerry Messenger fans

updated 04:35 pm EDT, Mon June 6, 2011

iMessage hits RIM with BBM-alike on iOS

Apple made clear its intentions to steal away BlackBerry users by launching its own equivalent to BlackBerry Messenger in iOS 5. iMessage offers much of the same SMS-free messaging as its RIM equivalent, even including delivery and sending receipts, group messaging, and live typing notices. Group messaging works, and conversations sync across devices so a user can start on an iPhone and finish on an iPad.

In a poke at RIM's limitations, iMessage works over both 3G and Wi-Fi, not cellular alone or with the forced tethering for PlayBooks. It's also possible to push locations along with photos, videos, and contacts.

The Apple version is expected to arrive with iOS 5 in the fall.

An introduction of a direct competitor to BBM is unusually blunt for Apple and may trigger a reaction from RIM, for whom the messages were once one of its core selling features. The company has shown a high level of jealousy as it once promoted Kik, a third-party app that provided many BBM features, only to sue the developer once it became clear Kik was being used as a gateway to switch to Android or iPhone. Kik is banned from BlackBerry App World and is limited to non-BlackBerry platforms so far.

Regardless of whether not iMessage exists, RIM was just recently overtaken by Apple in US smartphone share after both BBM and secure push e-mail were no longer enough to keep customers loyal. Outdated hardware and a relatively poor app selection have been considered major detriments where Apple and Android phone makers have leapfrogged it in some areas.

RIM has been asked for comment but hadn't responded as of this writing.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2011



    Apple must be using full spectrum color copiers now. They've got a bit of Blackberry, Android, and Windows Phone 7 going into to be released iOS5 and it's STILL behind where its competitors stand today.

  1. cloudDigit

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hide Trolls

    Moderators, will it be possible to not show hidden comments? The trolls are really making reading the post a really bad experience. They are offering no objective insights.


  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I think it'd be really nice to ban Facebook_Clarence. The guy never had anything remotely insightful to say. It's like, we get it dude, you like your Android phone.

    As per the original post ... I find it funny that Apple did this, since I've been making fun of the redundancy of BBM for years, specifically the platform dependancy of it. Though FaceTime is just as platform dependant I suppose.

    I hope they open it up to work with other IM platforms, or at least allow iChat to tie into it. Who knows, maybe we'll find out that it's Jabber based.

    Either way, I'll probably use it for my iPhone owning friends now. I imagine my sister will also appreciate it once she gets her iPhone. I don't get why text messaging isn't good enough for most people.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. linlijunhh

    Joined: Dec 1969


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  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    i would prefer

    posts from Chinese spammers selling fake designer goods than anything facebook_clarence has to say

    but ultimately... so what? if you don't like it, scroll past it. The only time trolls should be a serious issue is if they flood comments threads so that it becomes difficult to read legit comments.

  1. OtisWild

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No AIM or gtalk?

    Meh, I really just want Adium for iOS..

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Hide trolls

    Oh, you mean like your post, which offers no insight?

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