Google is developing an instant messaging app to take on market-leader BlackBerry Messenger and Apple’s newly unveiled iMessage, reports suggest.
The existence of the app emerged as an aside in a Wall Street Journal news item. The site was reportedly tipped off about the IM application by a person familiar with matters at Google’s Mountain View nerve centre.
If true, and it’s certainly likely to be, Google’s move could be a real blow for BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM), which this week saw its stock sink to a five-year low.
The popularity of RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger app has been a key selling point in recent years, helping the phones find buyers among teens despite the fact that the company has largely failed to keep pace with rivals’operating system innovations.
RIM’s plummeting share price will not have been helped by news of Apple’s iMessenger app, which allows iKit owners to send messages directly to other iPhone and iPad users for free via a similar chat-style layout.
Wall Street Journal
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