“Do you guys have BBM?”
“No, I’m on an Android phone, and he has an iPhone.”
“Doesn’t matter anymore!”
Sounds rather peculiar that an app with the word “BlackBerry” in its name would ever work on competitors like Android and Apple’s iOS, but Research in Motion’s famous BlackBerry Messenger will be coming to both platforms in the future—Android first, then the iPhone, according to BGR’s “multiple trusted sources.”
Timing and pricing is pure speculation at this point, but the general concept sounds concrete. Before instant messaging competitors like WhatsApp and Kik came into play, it would have never made sense for RIM to give other platforms its renowned app. However, now it would make for a wise long-term strategy—after all, BGR notes that since RIM invented this space, why would it want to give it up to newcomers?
As far as what Android and iOS users can look forward to, we’ve been told RIM will offer stripped down versions of the BBM experience BlackBerry owners know and love. That way, Android and iOS users can communicate with practically anyone who has a smartphone using BBM, but they might not be able to share photos, location, or videos (when RIM crosses that bridge). Users who want the full BlackBerry Messenger experience will still need a BlackBerry smartphone to get it. At the same time, RIM could own the entire messaging app category on every major smartphone OS platform and could potentially draw new users in because it has given them a taste of what BlackBerry Messenger is all about.
Android is expected to see BBM “some time this year,” while seeing the app on the iOS is apt to take longer, and isn’t as likely to end of happening.