The most important group of people to gain from this are the users. Think about this. Currently, if you want to use the features of iMessages, you need to have an iPhone and have friends with iPhones; or have a Blackberry and have friends that use a Blackberry. However, if it became an open standard, it wouldn’t matter what phone it was on, as everyone could speak to each other. Real-time, free-of-charge.
It’s a great concept. But for the very reasons he’s said it would be awesome — phone-agnostic, free, open — Apple will never do it. iMessage and FaceTime are great selling features of the iPhone; why would Apple give that up? To sell more Blackberries? I don’t think so.
The only party that would be seriously hurt with this change are the telecom carriers.