Blackberry touts Messenger!

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) is pulling out all the stops to woo consumer and youth market.
TORONTO: Facing a fierce onslaught from Apple's iPhone 4 and Google Android devices, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) is pulling out all the stops to woo consumer and youth market.

The Waterloo-based Canadian wireless giant has just launched TV, Internet and poster ads to woo young people in North America by playing up its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) which is extremely popular among its professional and corporate clients.

More than 25 million of the total 46 million BlackBerry subscribers worldwide use BlackBerry Messenger. According to RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie, BlackBerry Messenger is so popular that its use has shot up nearly 500 percent during the fiscal.

In fact, at the RIM's annual shareholder meeting last week, BlackBerry Messenger was the toast of the evening, with television commercials highlighting the software for its better network efficiency against competition.

The new commercials are targeted at young people who toast iPhone 4 and Google Android smart phones as shown by recent reports on the market share of big players.

According to reports, BlackBerry Messenger seems to be having an impact on young people in North America where BlackBerry still controls 40 percent of the market.

The appeal of BlackBerry Messenger has been attributed to almost instant delivery of message thanks to RIM's 'push' architecture, while other messaging applications cause delay of up to 20 seconds in delivery of message.

Its appeal to young people is also enhanced by the fact that BlackBerry's network is private. Thus, BlackBerry Messenger offers them privacy unlike a regular text message in which the recipient's phone number appears on the phone bill.

Further, BlackBerry Messenger comes almost free as it is covered by the BlackBerry data plan, leading to just nominal charges.

In its fight to maintain its supremacy, the Canadian company is also likely to release later this year its rumoured touchscreen phone with a sliding keyboard, a new Internet browser and a BlackBerry tablet to compete with Apple's iPad.

But even as the company has reported 24 percent rise in its revenue over the previous year, its stock has lost 30 percent of its value this year, raising worries among investors and shareholders.