Posted 06/07/2013 at 9:52 PM
Posted 4 years ago
While BlackBerry may have struggled in recent years, its BBM messaging service remains a saving grace. Back in mid-May, the Canadian company announced that BBM would be made available to other operating systems, with free downloadable apps coming to Android and iOS. A date of June 27 has been mentioned for the release of the app, but that seems to be only part of the story.
Talking to CNET on Wednesday, BlackBerry COO Kristian Tear said that in addition to apps for the App Store and Google Play, the company is in talks with rival manufacturers to get BBM included on devices out of the box.
“There is interest from other handset makers,” said Tear. Although, he did decline to say which manufacturers these were.
The rise of Android and iOS has no doubt stifled BBM in the U.S. and other western markets. However, the messaging service is far from dead; Tear noting that the service currently has an active users base of 61 million worldwide, with 70 percent using it daily. That number is definitely not to be sniffed at and with BBM a primary method of mobile communication in some countries, it is easy to see why other manufacturers would be interested in having the service as a selling point.
Of course, the flip side to making BBM available on other devices is that users may be tempted to ditch BlackBerry in favor of a cheaper and more powerful Android handset, or the glamour of an iPhone. It is fair to say that BlackBerry does not offer much in terms of specs or features to compete with Android or iOS, and BBM is likely to the one thing keeping many current users around. This point was put to Tear by CNET, who felt that the matter was not a concern.
“We don’t feel like that is a risk,” he said. “Obviously, if we did, we might have acted differently.”