You may have missed it. I did too – for a while, but it is there and staring us all in the face: there is an instant messaging great divide having Nokia and WhatsApp on one side, and Samsung and BBM on the other.
Nokia is pushing WhatsApp on both Lumia and Asha, while Samsung is heavily pushing BBM on its Galaxy line-up. Every time that Nokia unveils new Asha phones, it goes to great lengths to emphasise that WhatsApp will be available on those devices. Take a look at this photograph from today’s Nokia World 2013 event as an example of what I mean:
This has been a consistent theme at Nokia launch events for a while. The Finish manufacturer keeps pushing WhatsApp’s numbers and availability on their platforms.
On the other side of the gulf, Samsung is actively pushing BBM, though WhatsApp is available for Android. Samsung and BlackBerry have reached some agreement to drive the adoption of BBM, and I do not doubt that with Samsung’s current numbers, BBM will quickly accumulate more active users.
Whether this sudden face-off is deliberate or it just happened is another matter, but it is here. Of course, Nokia pushing the dominant instant messaging platform in an attempt to drive greater sales of their devices makes perfect sense. It is also interesting to note that BBM is not available for Windows Phone (or Asha). I doubt that it will be in the nearest future, if ever. As such, Nokia putting its weight behind WhatsApp is natural and again makes sense. However this plays out, this instant messaging war is going to be interesting. Everybody else needs to go sit down: this war is bi-polar and has only WhatsApp and BBM on the field.