Skip to main content

Apple's new iMessage - a threat to who?

Apple just announced, among other things, a new secure messaging system between iOS devices called iMessage.  It certainly looks interesting - it includes multimedia content, multiple recipient chat, and the ability to start a conversation on one iOS device and continue it on another.

A few friends asked "how much will this eat into SMS revenue for carriers."  My answer: Virtually zero.

Very few people message only with iPhone users. Most people message with lots of friends and colleagues, who use a variety of devices.  iMessage will definitely have its uses, but it won't take away a significant amount of SMS revenue.  Even when iPhone users want to message a friend with an iPhone, they'll likely want to use the same system they use for all their messaging, regular SMS, and not have to remember which friends have iPhones.

The bigger question, however, is the effect that this will have on RIM's BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).  If iMessage is provable secure, will enterprises choose to use it for mobile messaging?  This is the huge question that lots of people are asking (e.g., here, here, and here). 

Whether enterprises will adopt iMessage is beyond speculation right now.  But this is yet another reason for a prediction I've been making for a while now: RIM will offer Blackberry e-mail and messenger as a service running on iPhones, Android phones, and other competitor devices.

Basically, they need to. Blackberry devices are losing ground as executives want to use their smartphones for business use. If RIM wants to keep the market lead on secure e-mail and messaging, they need to branch out.

This, I think, is why RIM has made a series of acquisitions in the area of synchronizing data with other kinds of cellphones. And it's why they're separating their devices from services revenue accounting a lot more than they used to.

Bottom line, that's what iPredict will happen, if RIM wants to keep its leadership in secure messaging.

But SMS revenue, I think, is safe.

UPDATE:  After reading CultOfMac's great description of iMessage, I think Apple made a great move having iMessage detect automatically when to send messages by SMS and when by iMessage. This means that many iOS users will make iMessage their primary messaging app, and iMessage as a platform will ease in to use. Once again Apple has won hands-down in usability by integrating a new feature into old features in a way that really fits how people work - like FaceTime's integrating into existing phone calls between iPhone users.

On the other hand, I don't think iMessage is going to take away BlackBerry market share anytime soon. Blackberry users use Blackberry e-mail and BBM not for SMSs, but because it ties securely into their Enterprise e-mail, and RIM's still the market leader there. If iMessage wants the Enterprise market, Apple needs to add the secure e-mail connectivity part.  That said, I still predict that RIM will release secure e-mail and BBM for iPhones and Android phones, just because executives are preferring to use them over Blackberries.

Popular posts from this blog

Intel demos indoor location technology in new Wi-Fi chips at MWC 2015

Intel made several announcements at MWC 2015, including a new chipset for wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi) in mobile devices. This new chipset, the 8270, include in-chip support for indoor location positioning. Below we explain their technology and show a video of it in action. With this announcement, Intel joins Broadcom, Qualcomm and other chip makers in moving broad indoor location positioning into mobile device hardware.

The transition of indoor location positioning into chips is a trend identified in the newest Grizzly Analytics report on Indoor Location Positioning Technologies, released the week before MWC 2015. By moving indoor location positioning from software into hardware, chips such as Intel's enable location positioning to run continuously and universally, without using device CPU, and with less power consumption.

Intel's technology delivers 1-3 meter accuracy, using a technique called multilateration, generating a new location estimate every second. While 1-3 meter …

Seeing Quuppa's indoor location technology at MWC 2015

I first met Fabio and Kimmo from Quuppa in 2012, before Quuppa existed, when they had spent years researching indoor location positioning technologies at Nokia Research Center. Less than a year after that they formed Quuppa, independent of Nokia, to bring their technology to market. At the time I called Quuppa "the newest and oldest in indoor location positioning."

Fast forward two and a half years. Their technology has reached market, it can now track both smartphones and BLE devices, and it's accurate to within 20-50cm. Before reading more about their technology, take a look at a video of their demo in action:



Grizzly Analytics has analyzed indoor location technologies by over 150 companies, and virtually all of the radio-based technologies operate by measuring the distance between the device being tracked and other radio devices, and using these distance measurements for either multilateration or fingerprinting. For example, the well known BLE beacons measure a device…

33 Indoor Location Technologies at Mobile World Congress 2017

The number of companies exhibiting indoor location technologies at the 2017 Mobile World Congress (MWC) skyrocketed to 33!

Before MWC started, we released our Guide to Indoor Location at MWC, with 23 companies:


During the conference we notified our guide recipients of 10 other indoor location exhibitors that we saw. (Sign up here to receive our guide and to be on our mailing list for next year's MWC.)

This is many more indoor location related exhibits that previous years. The area is growing by leaps and bounds! Our recent report on indoor location technologies analyzed and profiled almost 200 companies!

Here are some videos, so you can see the technologies in action, followed by a list of the other indoor location companies that were at MWC.

First up is Philips Lighting, with high-accuracy indoor location positioning based on LED light modulation and visible light communication (VLC) technology:




Next comes Estimote, makers of Bluetooth (BLE) beacons, who introduced self-mapping b…