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RIM's advantage in instant messaging

A lot has been made of how iPhone has a better browser and more apps than the BlackBerry. The implication would seem to be that Research in Motion may not make much headway out of its stronghold in the corporate world.
But there is an overlooked feature in RIMs BlackBerry that is making it very popular with persons in their teens and twenties. That feature is the instant messenger systemwith its full qwerty keyboard. Being available for a flat fee, it makes the BlackBerry the more affordable communication device for young people: instead of making a voice call and paying by the minute, the user can do instant texting without any incremental charges.
This is a feature that is hard for rivals to replicate because RIM runs it over its unique network operations centers (NOCs) that push emails and messages directly to handsets. Building such NOCs would be expensive and difficult for competitors — RIM itself spent many years getting it right. It remains to be seenhow this advantage will impact RIM’s stockbut perhaps there is more to the RIM story than an exponentially growingmarket for smartphones?