BlackBerry-specific data plans might become a thing of the past for general consumers once RIM launches its BlackBerry 10 operating system. The company is changing its services package that would allow subscribers to choose what services they need and pay just for them rather than having to pay for everything. In fact, subscribers who do not want additional security that encrypts all mail and other data that is transmitted from the phone, might not have to opt for a BlackBerry service plan at all. Also Read - BlackBerry to reportedly launch an Android smartphone
“With the introduction of the BlackBerry 10 mobile computing platform, we will be transforming our service revenue model to reflect different usage levels of our network infrastructure and different value-added software security and service packages. Subscribers that require enhanced services, including advanced security, mobile device management and other services, are expected to continue to generate monthly service revenue. Other subscribers who do not utilize such services are expected to generate less or no service revenue,” RIM CEO Thorsten Heins announced during the company’s Q3, 2012 earnings call. Also Read - BlackBerry Classic to launch in India today: Specifications and features
The changes have been made in order to stay competitive with its rivals. “We’re making these changes to meet the competitive dynamics of the marketplace but more importantly, to allow us to pursue the broad opportunities in mobile computing that BlackBerry 10 and our infrastructure enables us to do,” he said. Also Read - BlackBerry piggy backs on Amazon to get 240,000 Android apps for BB10
Without giving out any specific details before unveiling BlackBerry 10 on January 30, this could mean that with BlackBerry 10 RIM would finally have a broad differentiation between general and enterprise users. Hopefully, general users would be able to subscribe to regular data plans and access the Internet and other online apps and services rather than having to subscribe to a BlackBerry-only plan.
However, it is not clear at the moment whether users will still be required to pay a monthly subscription fee to access BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). “BBM is a fantastic social network that is really distinct from other messaging applications because of its intermediacy, because of its richness of services, and we’re going to evolve that. So the point is that what we’re working on is how do we evolve BBM, BBM services to a stage where we can actually also create additional service revenues out of BBM,” Heins said during the earnings call.
For all we know, RIM could possibly roll-out BBM for other platforms as well and have those users to pay a monthly subscription. But it would be challenging to do that now considering many free messaging options like WhatsApp have become as popular as BBM with non-BlackBerry users and it works well on BlackBerry too.
Earnings call transcript courtesy SeekingAlpha.com