Blackberry to snaffle the last tasty morsel in the bramble patch.

Aug 28, 2013

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, BlackBerry is hoping to form an autonomous new company, BBM Inc., that would be the fresh home of BlackBerry Messenger. The WSJ reports that

BlackBerry has, for some time, been quietly transferring senior executives to the new organisation. It seems the plan is to market BBM as a trendy and very secure alternative to the likes of WhatsApp and We Talk.

BlackBerry claims that despite the company's depredations, BBM continues to be very popular and has a user base of 60 million. To put things into some kind of perspective, WhatsApp has 300 million active users.

Back in May, Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry's ever-optimistic CEO, announced that BBM would, soon and for the first time, be made available on other than BlackBerry devices. it was too little, too late. It is also rumoured that the company is "thinking about" making BBM available for desktop computers. That too is too late to have any meaningful impact on BlackBerry's future.

Elsewhere in yet another effort to make itself relevant in a changed world, BlackBerry is launching BBM Channels, a sub-a Twitter-like social media app that will "allow brands and celebrities to more closely interact with customers and fans".

Oh dear. Yet another dull "me too" catch- up exercise aimed at kids and mounted long after the horse has not only left the stable but has been caught, worked half to death down a mine and then transported to a third world country to be turned into dog food.

If BlackBerry's top brass reckons that by spinning-off BBM they can compete head-to-head with the likes of Twitter they are living in a Cloud Cuckoo Land that even Aristophanes would have found unbelievably fantastic.

In a statement a BlackBerry spokesperson said, "We have announced our plans to offer this trusted mobile messaging service to iPhone and Android users sometime this summer. We have made no further announcements." Exciting stuff, eh?

As things get worse and worse, BlackBerryLand is abuzz with rumour and speculation. The latest is that a cross-platform BBM service has been in existence for at least three years but management decided to keep it on the shelf. How brilliant and perceptive is that? Apparently the same applies to a version of BBM for desktop computers that in their wisdom BlackBerry's leaders decided not to market. The rest, as they say, is history.

This morning I looked into my much-thumbed copy of "Market Gardening for Aging Hacks". It informed me that "Blackberry bush roots do not grow very deep, which means you must be careful when fertilising". And getting fertilisation wrong can lead to "uneven ripening and slow sap flow".

So, here's a question: in recent months how many execs have left the company, and would you call that a sap flow or a very smart flow?

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