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PHONES / SMARTPHONES & PDAS

BlackBerry SOS Message To iPhone, Droid

By Oonagh Reidy | Wednesday | 15/05/2013

BBM for iOS and Android could launch this year


BlackBerry shares the BBM love by offering its "ground breaking" instant messaging to iOS and Android users this year. 

The startling hook up was announced as BlackBerry Live kicks off in Florida, and could push the BB platform and encourage take-up among iPhone and Android mobile users. 

The former Canadian phone king plans to invade Apple iOS 6 and Android (4.0 or higher) platforms with BlackBerry Messenger, which is "subject to approval by the Apple App Store and Google Play."

If Cupertino and Android give the go ahead, BBM could replace instant 'over the top' messengers like iMessage, WhatsApp as the instant messenger of choice for millions of teens and adults alike who have eshewed SMS in favour of freebie systems. 

"iOS and Android users would be able to experience the immediacy of BBM chats, including multi-person chats, as well as the ability to share photos and voice notes, and engage in BBM Groups, which allows BBM customers to create groups of up to 30 people," BlackBerry said in a statement. 


BBM, which runs of BlackBerry servers, also has personalised profiles and avatars, and "D" and "R" statuses, which show up in chats to let people know their message has been delivered and read.

BBM was the original instant messaging system and one of the reasons BlackBerry has managed to stay afloat (and in the hands of many a teenager) against the cool iPhone and Androids 

"For BlackBerry, messaging and collaboration are inseparable from the mobile experience, and the time is definitely right for BBM to become a multi-platform mobile service." 

"We're excited to offer iOS and Android users the possibility to join the BBM community," said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President, Software Product Management and Ecosystem, at BlackBerry


BBM has more than 60 million active monthly users that collectively send and receive more than 10 billion messages each day, nearly twice as many compared to rival mobile messaging apps. 

BlackBerry also just announced BBM Channels, a new social engagement platform allowing users to connect with businesses, brands, celebrities and groups they like. 

BlackBerry plans to add support for BBM Channels as well as voice and video chatting for iOS and Android later this year.

Oh and other good news from BB - yes, the BlackBerry Z10 finally Skypes.   

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