BBM is synonymous with BlackBerry and remains very popular even as RIM’s fortunes have soured. Along with RIM’s famous QWERTY keyboards, it has allowed RIM to hang on to more than a few customers as it has some 55 million BBM users. Rumours earlier this year suggested that Research In Motion was making good progress in porting its instant messaging service over to Android and iOS. The project was known internally as “SMS 2.0” and would allow RIM to open up its network and license BBM to other device manufacturers and carriers.
According to The Wall Street Journal, relatively new CEO Thorsten Heins has put an end to the project after deciding that RIM should not pursue licensing deals. One person familiar with the matter added that “It was not up for discussion.”
The report adds that, while RIM is not abandoning BBM, it will put further development on the backburner to focus on the BlackBerry 10 OS and device launch later this year. While BBM will be offered on its BlackBerry 10 devices, it does not appear that there will be any new features added at least within the immediate future.