Rumors have been circulating that RIM would be bringing BBM to the iOS, which truth be told did not make much sense because RIM would essentially be giving up a key feature in their Blackberry devices that made it so unique and was one of its selling points. Despite RIM announcing they had no plans to port BBM over to iOS it did not stop the rumors and yesterday at Apple’s WWDC Apple introduced a new feature in iOS that could have been a basis for those BBM rumors.
Meet the iMessage.
Essentially it acts like the BBM except instead of being able to send messages to Blackberry users, it’s basically iOS’s answer to BBM whereby iOS users can now send messages to their other iOS friends and contacts for free. This includes iOS devices such as the iPad and iPod touch and all it would require is just a 3G or WiFi connection for it to work. Finally a feature on the iOS that would encourage friends still hanging on to their Blackberry devices to make the switch and join their iOS friends. The good thing about iMessage is that its already integrated into the current messaging app so users will not have to juggle between two applications when sending messages.
This was probably a rather nasty surprise to carriers all around the world as they would now have one less revenue stream to rely on, text messaging. There was a point in time when carriers would advertise cheap rates for text messages but now thanks to smartphones and various texting applications such as Ping and Whatsapp will we see text messaging rates increase?