BlackBerry’s popular messaging service – BlackBerry Messenger – is expected to arrive on both Android and iOS sometime this summer. The apps are pending approval from Apple and Google, but it seems that BlackBerry is potentially using a different strategy to populate the masses with BBM. According to a report in CNET, BlackBerry Chief Operating Officer Kristian Tear says that “there is interest from other handset makers” to pre-load BBM on their devices.
Tear declined to comment on which manufacturers are interested, but if this idea was to move forward it would certainly increase the adoption rate of BBM, especially in developing countries. When BBM for iOS and Android becomes available the app will be free, but limited to messaging and groups. Then updated “later on” the app will receive and update to include BBM Voice, screen share, and the BBM Channels.
Pre-loading BBM on competing handsets is apparently not a concern to BlackBerry. Tear stated “we don’t feel like that is a risk… Obviously, if we did, we might have acted differently. BBM is a strong platform that provides a different way of communicating.” There’s currently over 60 million BBM subscribers worldwide.