BlackBerry, against all advice, has decided to stick with its plan of offering its BBM chat application on rival operating systems. BBM is a key driver of BlackBerry’s sales, but even the popularity of the application hasn’t stopped the company steadily losing customers. It is for that reason that BlackBerry decided to offer BBM on iOS and Android—if customers were not going to buy their hardware, at least they will remain loyal to the software. However, there are several issues with the strategy that are likely to ensure that it fails to deliver the desired results. The first is the market that BBM will be entering into. Cross-platform messaging apps, like Whatsapp, have been steadily gaining popularity and have already cornered a loyal customer base. BBM enters this market as a small player, and will find it hard to increase market share.
The other issue has to do with what BlackBerry hopes to earn from releasing the app on other platform. The company is offering the app for free, which experts are deeming a mistake. On iOS, customers readily pay the $1 required to download Whatsapp—they’ll be ready to do the same for BBM too. ‘Free’ devalues BlackBerry’s most valuable product.