BlackBerry Messenger could soon be available on Apple iOS and Android platforms.
According to a report posted by the often accurate Boy Genius Report, Canadian smart phone outfit Research in Motion is planning to port its bomb-proof instant messaging service to both Apple's iOS4 and Google's open source Android operating systems.
If, like us, you are doing a comedy double take at the preceding statement, and wondering why RIM would be willing to relinquish control of the BlackBerry's unique selling point - a messaging service which is so secure it has forced a number of sovereign nations to threaten blanket bans unless they allowed insider access - there are two reasons.
Firstly, Blackberry's USP is no longer quite so unique. A number of third-party developers are now offering mobile apps tied to ultra-secure messaging service which, while they may not have the same reputation and history as BlackBerry Messenger, still do a pretty good job of keeping your missives out of the hands of the wrong people, without attracting the attention of half the world's secret service organisations.
The second is that RIM will probably offer a slightly hobbled version of the software and service to punters using non-BlackBerry hardware in the hope that it will have a halo affect similar to that which has seen PC-toting iPhone users defecting to the fruity side in their droves.
BGR's secret sources say that the Android version is already under way and could be released before the year is out, while the iOS version is still in the planning stages.
If nothing else it will let the rest of us see what CrackBerry users are always crowing about.