An article today from Seeking Alpha described how Research In Motion has a BlackBerry ‘secret weapon’. This secret weapon is BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS). Smartphones are still expensive to own in many developing countries in Latin America, Africa, and East Asia.
However, BlackBerry customers pay a relatively affordable monthly fee, and in return get unlimited Internet access, email, and BBM. To put this into perspective, a single text message can cost a user $0.20, but BIS costs only about $8 a month in South Africa. With BBM, a user can send unlimited messages, and Seeking Alpha says “for 40 text messages, a BlackBerry user can send 10,000 messages”.
This strategy is what has kept RIM and the BlackBerry brand alive. While BlackBerry continues to struggle in North America and parts of Europe, users in Indonesia, Africa, and other parts of the world are lining up in droves to buy BlackBerry smartphones. Perhaps, with the launch of BlackBerry 10, users around the world will once again realize the money saving benefits of BBM, BIS, and the overall BlackBerry experience.