June 6, 2013
Will It Or Won’t It? BlackBerry Messenger Reaching iOS, Android
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
This morning T-Mobile UK tweeted that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) would be available for iOS and Android on June 27. The tweet, which has been since removed, reportedly even served up an image of a BBM conversation running on a Samsung Android-powered device.
According to TechCrunch, the tweet, which came from the official T-Mobile UK Twitter account stated key facts: “Great news — BlackBerry Messenger will be available to download on iOS and Android from June 27th! : ) #BBM http://t.co/PbG1uknM3h– T-MOBILE UK (@TMobileUK) June 06, 2013.”
It now appears that someone at T-Mobile jumped the gun just a bit, and BlackBerry responded that this information was incorrect.
“That date is completely inaccurate; we have never indicated a specific date,” a BlackBerry spokesperson told Cnet on Thursday.
The key to this is that a specific date isn´t known, but BlackBerry´s CEO actually noted last month that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) would expand to iOS and Android likely this summer. While BlackBerry head honcho Thorstein Heins didn´t note a date during his onstage demonstrations he did reveal that the service would be made available as a free download sometime this summer.
“It´s a statement of confidence. We are confident time is right for BBM to be independent,” he said at the BlackBerry Live 2013 event.
BlackBerry´s popular messaging service has been one of the company´s greatest strengths and it has been reported that the company is working to preload it onto other devices. It is possible that the company is working out any kinks as well, as the move to Apple´s iOS and Google´s Android is the first time that BBM would be made available to a non-BlackBerry device.
This has been seen as a bold move by analysts yet reports suggest that BlackBerry sees a potential benefit in opening up BBM to more users, and that this could outweigh any risks that current BlackBerry customers would defect to other platforms.
BlackBerry — formerly known as Research in Motion — had introduced a set of applications for its BlackBerry devices to integrate with social networking apps for Facebook and Twitter.
So the question now is whether BlackBerry is giving away its advantage it has in the messaging market.
TechCrunch called the move a “calculated risk,” and noted “BlackBerry must see a very clear and present upside to opening up its platform beyond BB OS. It definitely has the network volume, which is generally the goal of pre-monetization startups launching similar products, so we´ll see where it takes things from here.”
However, when questioned, BlackBerry Chief Operating Officer Kristian Tear didn´t quit see the downside.
“We don´t feel like that is a risk,” he told CNET on Wednesday. “Obviously, if we did, we might have acted differently.”
BlackBerry introduced it BlackBerry 10 operating system and devices this year, and these included the BlackBerry Z10, the first touchscreen-enabled device from the Canadian handset maker.
The company, which rebranded itself as BlackBerry earlier this year, is looking to reclaim lost market share. While once a top player in mobile smartphones it has lost ground to rivals including Apple´s iPhone and Google´s Android devices.