Apple's new iOS 5 feature, iMessage, probably sounded very familiar to those who follow the mobile industry quite well.
The iMessage feature allows for consumers to send text messages, photos, videos or contact information to a person or a group across all iOS 5 devices over Wi-Fi or 3G. Messages are pushed to all iOS 5 devices allowing for people to have an easy conversation on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch without having to start over on a new device.
In addition, the new iMessage service has a few other features including delivery and read receipts, typing indication and secure end-to-end encryption. This makes it fairly similar to the Blackberry Messanger service offered by Research In Motion.
Apple's announcement is just the latest in a string of unfortunate news for Research In Motion. Over the past month, the company has struggled in the mobile space. It had to cut its forecast due to lowered sales a few weeks ago and as a result its stock took a dive. Currently, it sits at $38.91 per share, which is the lowest it has been in two years. Over the past six months alone, the stock has sunk from a high of $69.86 per share.
Before Apple even took the curtain off the new iOS 5 features; analysts were worried the affect Apple's iCloud might have RIM. Apple, which also introduced iCloud during the same event as iOS 5 and iMessage, would be enhancing its own product sales with the iCloud.
We did some additional analysis on the potential impact on AAPL's iCloud on the competitive landscape and believe RIMM could see collateral damage, Shaw Wu, analyst with Stern Agee, said.
iCloud has the potential to change the game again in making iTunes even more powerful and useful by giving users access to their content from any device, anywhere. Competitors including RIMM, GOOG, AMZN and MSFT already have a hard time competing with iTunes as it is but we believe will likely find it even tougher with iCloud enhancements.
Meanwhile, Apple introduced an additional plethora of new iOS features. This included Notification Center, which is a place where all notifications-text messages, missed calls, calendar alerts, app alerts and more - appear in one place. To ensure it doesn't interrupt anything, the new notifications center, only alerts users of an update or notification in the upper right hand corner. If users want to see the notification, they click on a little icon. Otherwise, the icon goes dormant and users can do whatever they were doing uninterrupted.
There was also twitter integration, an enhanced newsstand feature, improvements to Safari and Game Center, a new reminders app and added features in cameras and photos.