According to inside sources wrangled by Boy Genius Report, RIM may offer a skimmed-down version of BlackBerry Messenger to Android and iOS users.
The sources did not speak to pricing and availability, but it was shared that RIM’s signature communication service for BlackBerry users could arrive on Android devices by way of third-party applications first, and that Apple mobile devices would follow. Though extending the service will allow non-BlackBerry users access to contacts that use BlackBerry smart phones, it may not facilitate sharing photos, geo-location, or videos in the same way a full version of BlackBerry Messenger might. Those features would be reserved for BlackBerry device users only.
It may sound counterintuitive for RIM to share an exclusive in-house service that motivates customers to stick around, but the plus side could be a value-add for customers with friends that use other phones. Sort of like Google Chat users who want to IM more than just the friends that use Gmail.
BGR also reports that RIM is working on Android app support for the PlayBook and, possibly, some other BlackBerry smart phones, so maybe the company is warming to the idea of opening up its ecosystem. As a platform that lose marketshare each quarter, these moves could help stem the tide.