Controversial CEO of BlackBerry, Thorsten Heins, yesterday announced that the company will be rolling out its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) to the iOS and Android operating systems from this summer.
The popular messaging service provided by BlackBerry which allows its users to send text, pictures and files for free, has been largely considered the main attraction for BlackBerry devices over the past few years. By offering the service to Android and iPhone users, BlackBerry aims to compete with rival apps such as Whatsapp, which currently provides a free internet-based messaging service to smartphone users.
Heins made this shock announcement at BlackBerry’s annual developers conference in Florida yesterday, claiming that over 60 million BlackBerry owners used BBM at least once a month, meaning there is huge potential in rolling out the service to other smartphone users.
However, critics have suggested that making BBM accessible on non-BlackBerry handsets would have a negative impact on the sales of BlackBerry devices; a claim that Heins immediately shot down.
Instead, the BlackBerry CEO replied with a statement of confidence: “The Blackberry 10 platform is so strong and the response has been so good that we are confident the time is right for Blackberry Messenger to become an independent multiplatform messaging solution."
For users to make the most of BBM hitting Android and iOS this summer though, their smartphones will need to be operated by either iOS 6 or the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android.
Would use BBM if it came to the Google Play Store or Apple’s app store? Or would you stick with other messaging apps like Skype and Whatsapp? Let us know; log in to post a comment below or get in touch via Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel