Review RIM's BlackBerry Messenger 6 supports Will Challenge Apple's iMessenger

					                             RIM's BlackBerry Messenger 6 supports social
apps, making the platform more of a challenger to Apple's upcoming
iMessenger.Research In Motion's BlackBerry Messenger will now support a
variety of social applications, increasing the functionality of a core
BlackBerry feature targeted by Apple's upcoming iOS 5.BlackBerry
Messenger 6, launched July 28, offers users the ability to chat within an
application or game, as well as view lists of applications posted on BBM
friends' profiles. It is available for download via BlackBerry App
World."[BBM 6] represents an incredible opportunity for developers to
leverage the viral nature of the BBM service," Alistair Mitchell, RIM's
vice president of BBM Platform & Integrated Services, wrote in a July 28
statement, "and we have already begun working with various developer
partners who will be bringing their BBM connected apps to BlackBerry App
World."RIM's BlackBerry Messenger update comes at a particularly
auspicious time. Sometime this fall, Apple will release the next version
of its mobile operating system, iOS 5, with a robust "iMessenger"
conversation platform designed to take RIM head-on."Anyone with an iPad,
iPhone or iPod Touch can send unlimited free text messages to anyone else
using an iOS device," Peter Misek, an analyst with research firm
Jefferies & Co., wrote in a June 7 research note. "The two mainstays of
RIM's sales have been corporate email users and consumer BBM users. While
Apple lacks RIM's NOC/node infrastructure that allows for BBMing without
a data plan with some carriers, [iMessenger] is otherwise a direct
competitor."Apple could increase its competitive profile with RIM, he
added, if it launches a "low-cost iPhone in the fall targeted at prepaid
and emerging markets."RIM faces some serious challenges in the mobile
space. At the end of May, for instance, research firm comScore estimated
RIM's share of the U.S. smartphone market at 24.7 percent, lagging behind
Apple at 26.6 percent and Android at 38.1 percent. The company has faced
recent criticism about its increasingly antiquated line of BlackBerry
devices, which it pledges will be replaced by late 2012 with a set of
"superphones" based on the same QNX operating system currently present in
the PlayBook tablet."RIM needs to focus on how to show why their
enterprise-class capabilities are the way to go," Ray Wang, principal
analyst of the Constellation Research Group, wrote in a July 28 email to
eWEEK. The key to future success will be figuring out "how they can take
a consumer innovation and make it enterprise class … safe, secure,
simple, sexy, sustainable, scalable."Tagcloud:RIM's BlackBerry Messenger
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