The last thing Blackberry maker RIM wants is yet another reason for the once-faithful to leave. Last month saw embarrassing worldwide network outages which RIM didn't bother to explain, at first, leaving users thinking of a switch to Apple or Android devices. Now, Google has lined up a nail and is preparing to bring the hammer down onto the coffin: it's going to stop offering Gmail for Blackberry users, this month.
According to the Wall Street Journal, on 22 November, Google is going to kill its Gmail app for Blackberry. It will only prevent new users from accessing Gmail through the app. Existing users with the app installed will be able to continue using Gmail. Google says instead it will be focusing on a "great" Gmail experience in mobile browsers. RIM, however, brushed any concerns aside. Since RIM's built-in email has native support for Gmail in Blackberry 5.0 and above, it doesn't really matter, it suggests.
In a statement, RIM said: "The large majority of users who access Gmail on their Blackberry smartphone already rely on the native support". Even so, it's difficult not to think Google is being a little bit cunning. As users contemplate flocking to Android and Apple, Google has realised that it can offer the whole package in its own ego-system. And with robust security at the app level becoming a prevalent trend on the other operating systems, RIM's business customers might not have too many reasons to stick around either.