CANADIAN PHONE MAKER Blackberry announced today at its Blackberry Live conference in Orlando, Florida that its Blackberry Messenger (BBM) services will be coming to iOS and Android.
Finally confirming the year-long rumours, Blackberry said that it will turn BBM into a multi-platform service this summer, making the app available to owners of iPhone and Android devices. Blackberry did not announce any release date(s), but said that the apps and service will be free.
"BBM is too good to keep to ourselves," said Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins. "This summer, BBM will be available across multiple platforms. We will make it the world's number one messaging solution - and, even better - it will be free."
Heins added, "[Apple and Google] have asked us for this for years, and the time has now come for everyone to experience the best messaging and collaboration program in mobile today."
Heins threw out some hints that BBM might also be offered on Windows Phone in the future, although this is still to be confirmed. He did announce, however, that the initial BBM iOS and Android apps will offer only messaging and group messaging services at the beginning, with BBM Voice to be added at a later date.
Blackberry also announced the affordable Q5 smartphone at today's keynote, which is a cut-price Blackberry Q10 smartphone aimed at those after a cheap, QWERTY keyboard smartphone.
The firm also boasted that its Blackberry World app store is now home to over 120,000 apps, claiming that its app revenues are double those of Google Play. µ
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