BlackBerry Messenger coming to Android, iOS?

In news that could well upset the BlackBerry apple cart, it's been reported that Research In Motion is contemplating making its popular BlackBerry Messenger available to users fn both Android and iOS devices.

Image courtesy of logonauta

According to BGR's Jonathan Geller, the Canadian outfit is looking to try to halt the rapid growth of services such as WhatsApp, a popular Android and iOS messaging system that is based on the original BlackBerry Messenger service. RIM believes they can corner the market while charging a fee, be it a one-off payment or a monthly subscription. 

It might seem a bit strange for RIM to want to bring the software that is responsible for keeping BlackBerry devices in the hands of countless potential defectors, but in the big picture, we think it could make sense. The company is getting very frustrated with applications like WhatsApp and Kik offering third-party experiences based on a concept RIM invented, and RIM apparently wants to own the space.

With BlackBerry Messenger being the crown jewel in an otherwise stale smartphone lineup, it's interesting that Reasearch In Motion is considering sharing its lunch money with its competitors respective app stores. What it could mean, however, is that RIM could take over the instant messaging market on all major platforms in one fell swoop. With BlackBerry handsets being staples in most boardrooms, having a one size fits all messaging system that's secure could well be appealing for executives and admin teams alike.

According to the BGR report, their sources claim RIM is almost set on doing an Android version of the system, with an iOS port a possibility. If RIM is going to open up its messaging system we find it hard to believe they would stop at Android. At that point an iOS (and possibly WP7) version would be a certainty and Android would only be first due to its open nature, aiding development efforts.

As for timing, BGR believes an Android release could be in the cards "this year", though a 9 month window is pretty forgiving.

Hopefully, if this does turn out to be true, we won't have to wait another 9 months for an iOS version!

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48 Comments

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I personally went from having a blackberry and missed bbm for a few months but really didnt care too much it is not that great .. Whatsapp is far better and soon hopefully will have the features .. Blackberry is abit late to the party if they wanted to control this part of the market like with everything else they do.. 10 steps behind

I wouldn't mind this, though I think if it became cross-platform they would have to get rid of BlackBerry from the name.

I love BBM, use it all the time. Doesn't cost me anything either. My carrier has the same pricing whether you want standard 500MB data or the BlackBerry 500MB data (includes BBM, Push Email etc).

This is certainly a strange move for RIM!

A lot of people buy Blackberrys for BBM and now iPhones/Android devices might be able to do something which is a key selling point for them?

Hrmmm colour me sceptical.

It could work for them. Here many friends have BB plans which include unlimited messages between BBs (standard SMS are not included in most carrier's plans). I would pay a little fee if the app is great and work well. This way I won't pay for every SMS message sent to those friends.

I'm on WP7 and have yet to try those messaging apps to see if they are worth it tough...

thealexweb said,
Bit late isn't it? Pingchat is now more commonplace in my college because it's cross-platform and free.

Pingchat looks cool.

I think bbm is over hyped. Yes its goo to quickly send a message. But its virtually exactly like sms except you cant send it to everyone.

I would never pay for bbm, it's cool but it isn't that amazing. And keep in mind I'm a bb user now, and I love bbm, I just can't see myself ever paying for it, even if I did switch platforms.

+1 for pingchat.

Unfortunately in my area about 80% are blackberry due to the messenger. Having this app is a must for my Iphone.

I think its a good idea but AIM does the same thing (that most ppl already have on ALL smartphones) so whats the benefit of having this. I'm sure there will be people out there that will drop their Blackberry and switch over if this is true but its just *meh* to me...

Meh... other than some green check-mark system (if it is like WhatsApp) to show that your message has gone through I don't really see the benefit of using this as oppose to just the standard MMS built into my phone. For "chat" there are already IM clients out there. For more advanced sharing there is Facebook and (gasp) Email.

Shadrack said,
Meh... other than some green check-mark system (if it is like WhatsApp) to show that your message has gone through I don't really see the benefit of using this as oppose to just the standard MMS built into my phone. For "chat" there are already IM clients out there. For more advanced sharing there is Facebook and (gasp) Email.

Some people dont like sharing EVERYTHING on Facebook ...

bushbrother said,

Some people dont like sharing EVERYTHING on Facebook ...

You make a good point, but I'm not sure what your point has to do with my post.

Shadrack said,

You make a good point, but I'm not sure what your point has to do with my post.

Maybe the bit that says

For more advanced sharing there is Facebook

Just guessing.

Yup... I don't recall suggesting that people share "EVERYTHING" on Facebook and also purpose Email as a possible technology to use.

Oh PLEASE let this be true. I plan to switch from BB to Android in the next couple of months, I'm going to sorely miss the messaging capabilities. I know not everyone feels the same way, but I would pay dearly for this.

tnt118 said,
Oh PLEASE let this be true. I plan to switch from BB to Android in the next couple of months, I'm going to sorely miss the messaging capabilities. I know not everyone feels the same way, but I would pay dearly for this.
Its not anything worth paying for really.

The main reason i love BBM is that you have a "R" icon when the message you have sent is read by the recipient.

The article misses the fact that Whatsapp is also available on BB. So if you want cross platform just use that? Does BBM support all the features of Whatsapp (pictures/location/sound/video), if not then it will still be behind ...

Smart move from RIM, Android is the key mobile OS for the next coming years followed by Apple iOS, maybe WM7 will follow (time will tell)

No thanks. I'll just stick to text messages that ALL phones can receive that I already have on my plan and don't have to pay another fee for.

Betaz said,
No thanks. I'll just stick to text messages that ALL phones can receive that I already have on my plan and don't have to pay another fee for.

+2

Betaz said,
No thanks. I'll just stick to text messages that ALL phones can receive that I already have on my plan and don't have to pay another fee for.

+3

Betaz said,
No thanks. I'll just stick to text messages that ALL phones can receive that I already have on my plan and don't have to pay another fee for.

you obviously don't bbm or have any friends that do....bbm is the windows7 to sms's winME

Betaz said,
No thanks. I'll just stick to text messages that ALL phones can receive that I already have on my plan and don't have to pay another fee for.

you can bbm oversees free of charge. do that with your sms plan

How about paying $1 once off so you can send unlimited "sms" to most of your friends (complete with a Group Chat feature), then cut off $10-30/month of spending?

Interesting. I got WhatsApp about a month ago and use it now and then when sending an SMS to friends that own a BlackBerry. If the BlackBerry Messenger were available I'd consider getting that, although at the moment it would have to beat WhatsApp's deal of "first year free, $2.99 a year after."

Intrinsica said,
Interesting. I got WhatsApp about a month ago and use it now and then when sending an SMS to friends that own a BlackBerry. If the BlackBerry Messenger were available I'd consider getting that, although at the moment it would have to beat WhatsApp's deal of "first year free, $2.99 a year after."

I paid $.99 for WhatsApp almost two years ago. As far as I know, it's free for life. What platform did you get it for?

NeoTrunks said,

I paid $.99 for WhatsApp almost two years ago. As far as I know, it's free for life. What platform did you get it for?

It is not free. You have to pay a yearly subscription to keep using it after the first year. Myself, since I was a beta tester for the BB version (now moved to Android), the 5$ I paid at the beginning of 2010 gave me a 10 years subscription.

SX86 said,

It is not free. You have to pay a yearly subscription to keep using it after the first year. Myself, since I was a beta tester for the BB version (now moved to Android), the 5$ I paid at the beginning of 2010 gave me a 10 years subscription.

I'm still using it more than a year later for only $.99. Maybe it's just a perk for us iPhone users. Here is the app description on the iTunes store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app...-messenger/id310633997?mt=8

It's a once off fee for iPhone users definitely. The app is free on Nokia Ovi store.
Not sure about BB users, kinda suck if they have to pay yearly

I'm on an Android phone. To be fair I don't remember exactly how much it was after the free first year, but $2.99 rings a bell, as does the fact that it's a yearly subscription. Kinda sucks to find out that they charge different prices for different lengths of time depending on the device that you're using...

warwagon said,
So then would it be a Crackdroid?

Crackapple sounds better *lol* some might shorten it to "Crapple" though