Where is Meebo’s iPhone IM app? It’s still coming… someday, says Meebo.
A company rep says the app’s launch delay is due to product “prioritization” and the company hopes “to push it out soon.”
Why the delay? Meebo wouldn’t specify, but our hunch is that Meebo is focusing on products involving Web advertising — such as its recent “Meebo Bar” for Web publishers — that may actually prove to be lucrative revenue generators in the coming years.
An iPhone app, while a useful way to extend Meebo’s IM product to more users, probably would not generate much revenue. Mobile advertising is not as lucrative as Web advertising, and charging for an IM app would severely limit its user base.
Recall that Meebo was one of the few lucky software companies to get a head start with Apple’s iPhone OS 3.0 software developers kit and real-time “push” notifications. Meebo CEO Seth Sternberg showed off a demo of the app at an Apple event in March. That was eight months ago.
At the time, Seth told Ars Technica that “Meebo plans to be ready for whenever iPhone OS 3.0 officially ships.” That turned out to be June.
Since then, various mobile chat apps with push notifications have cropped up: BeejiveIM, eBuddy, AOL’s AIM, etc. But no Meebo app. Meanwhile, Google Android users have access to a Meebo chat app for more than a year.