The Canada based BlackBerry is just a shadow of what it once used to be and there are various options being considered to put things in order. Making it a private company is one of them though an outright sale can’t be ruled out either, with both Samsung and Lenovo reportedly being in the hunt to acquire the beleaguered company. Under the backdrop of such a scenario, BlackBerry is also reported to be planning to spin off BBM into a separate subsidiary by the name BBM Inc.
The company has already formed a sub-committee to examine the prospects of spinning off some of its elements, including its messenger services which happen to be among its most prized possession. BlackBerry Enterprise Server, the company’s corporate email is another of its star feature.
Since BlackBerry now has to do away with many of its assets, BBM is something that invariably comes to the mind. The present decision of taking BBM to Android and iOS can also be considered to be in lieu of the above. Providing it with a separate identity will also allow it to function with greater independence. This way it will also be up against the likes of Skype from Microsoft. It also makes no sense at all if one considers BlackBerry’s decision to give away the propriety only otherwise if it is a part of their business strategy. The company at all times has considered people’s loyalty towards them because of BBM. Therefore if the consumers are given the chance to enjoy BBM services on their preferred devices, read Android and iOS, other than those from BlackBerry, there are less chances of users sticking to BlackBerry devices.
One can also argue to the fact that BlackBerry has something to gain by giving more emphasis on the growth of BBM network when it starts to offer various stuff on other platforms. It also stands a chance to gain some extra revenue from the users through marketing. But the main reason behind the availability of BBM in this stage is to make BBM hold on to its market in the midst of competitors like Whatsapp, KiKs, along with several company specific services such as ChatOn from Samsung. Presently BBM has about 60 million users though that is puny compared to the over 250 million subscribers of What’sApp while Kik enjoys a user base of 80 million. However, BBM stands to benefit from an enlarged user base once it reaches Android and iOS platforms.
On the other hand, BlackBerry is also said to be considering other options as well such as broadcasting of one to many through BBM Channels or, as the Wall Street Journal has reported, introducing some desktop Apps as well. The report further mentioned that the company has been internally testing BBM on other platforms for a few years now, which clearly shows that have been secretly preparing for the worst, that BBM will be introduced on other platforms if it becomes evident that BBM has no chance left to provide any growth to BlackBerry alone.