Did T-Mobile Spill the BBM Beans Too Early?
Up until mid-morning Thursday, it appeared as though there was big news for BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) Messenger, but that news has since “been taken down.”
T-Mobile U.K. tweeted early Thursday morning that BBM would be available for iOS and Android come June 27, even accompanying the tweet with an image of a BBM conversation on a Samsung Android phone. However, the tweet has since been taken down, and a BlackBerry spokeswoman has denied the claim, telling CNET, “That date is completely inaccurate; we have never indicated a specific date.”
The question now remains: Was T-Mobile that misinformed, or did it simply spill the beans too early?
Whether or not T-Mobile’s announcement was simply premature and the date turns out to be correct, it is conclusive that BlackBerry Messenger will be available for iOS and Android soon, and the unclear date for this launch will mark the first time that users will be able to access BlackBerry’s messaging service on non-BlackBerry devices. BBM currently runs on all of the 78 million BlackBerry handsets worldwide, and now, iOS and Android users will be able to download it, too.
The news was revealed last month when Blackberry announced that BBM would make the Android and iOS expansion this summer. BBM will be in the form of a free download, and it will be available for devices running at least iOS 6 or Android 4.0. Kristian Tear, BlackBerry Chief Operating Office, told CNET that the company is also planning to have mobile phone makers preload BBM onto devices. He remains confident that the expansion of the service will not lure more customers to iPhones and Androids from BlackBerry devices.
But there is also something standing in the way of significant BBM success, and its name is iMessage.
Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iMessage service is similar to BlackBerry messenger in that it boasts the same security and other coveted features. However, iMessage’s third-party apps afford it distinction, and Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) Messenger Service could be the next one to join the party, as the social network has expressed an interest in incorporating its messaging service on both Android and iOS. BBM will also have to face competition from Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) new service, Hangouts.
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