BlackBerry will be making BlackBerry Messenger, one of their prized possessions, available on both the iPhone and Android smartphones this Summer. Both Apple and Google still need to approve the popular messaging app in their respected app stores, but there’s no reason to believe that it won’t show up.
Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry’s CEO, declared during BlackBerry Live last week that “I cannot wait for the day when all of our BlackBerry fans can send BBM invites to all their friends on other platforms. They’ve asked us for this for years. The time has come now for everyone to experience what we all know. BBM is simply the best messaging and collaboration platform in mobile today.”
Mike Lazaridis, founder of BlackBerry (RIM), stood behind the move to bring BBM to iOS and Android. In an interview with Bloomberg, Lazaridis said that he’s confident users of other smartphones, specifically iPhone, will embrace BBM, noting that “BBM is by far the most compelling wireless experience and wireless social-networking environment… Not only is BlackBerry back in a big way with BB10, he’s [Heins] also showing he can expand that vision to other platforms.”
BBM for iOS and Android will be free, but limited at launch. BlackBerry will only make messaging and groups available, then will update the app to offer BBM Voice, BBM screen share and BBM Channels “later on.” There’s currently 60 million BBM users across the globe and it’ll be interesting to see how many Apple and Android users jump on board, or how many depart from 3rd party messaging apps like WhatsApp.