Business Technology

Thursday 26 April 2018

BlackBerry Messenger 'set for other phones'

BlackBerry Messenger might be going onto Android and Apple's iOS. Photo: Getty Images
BlackBerry Messenger might be going onto Android and Apple's iOS. Photo: Getty Images

Emma Barnett

BlackBerry is planning on rolling out its popular instant messenger service, BBM, to Android and Apple’s iOS, according to reports.

The BlackBerry Messenger App, which is one of the most popular tools on the phone, has only been available exclusively on the BlackBerry platform until now.

However, according to Boy Genius Report, a respected technology blog, Research In Motion, BlackBerry’s parent company, has been in talks with Apple and Google about making the software available to users across all three platforms.

No pricing or timing details have been finalised. BGR cites “multiple trusted sources” as its backup for the piece. The piece says: “We’re also told strategy is still being developed, however, and RIM may end up charging users a one-time fee or even a recurring fee for access to its BBM service on third-party platforms.”

They added: “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

“Users who want the full BlackBerry Messenger experience will still need a BlackBerry smartphone to get it."

Blackberry was unavailable for comment.

Michael Gartenberg, research director for analysts Gartner, said that it was hard to see how RIM would benefit from giving away one of BlackBerry's key selling points to users of other platforms. He said: "It doesn't sound like a good thing for RIM unless there's a larger story here that's not being told."

He said that BBM was a core part of the BlackBerry experience and would be difficult to separate out. "It's not something you could just create an app for," he said.

He added: "It will be interesting to see if it would make it through Apple's approval process."

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