According to a rumor posted by BGR a few weeks ago, RIM was looking for a way to expand its BlackBerry Messenger platform to iOS and Android devices, with a release coming soon in the App Store. RIM apparently wasn’t happy about the hundreds of apps clearly inspired by BBM available for iPhones and iPads, and decided to develop a version of Messenger that doesn’t have all the features available to BlackBerry owners, but still allows iOS users to communicate with their friends and family. A compromise, that is, to have BlackBerry Messenger available on as many platforms as possible.
A poster on MacRumors Forums now suggests BlackBerry Messenger for iOS may be launching in the App Store on April 26. At a “social media conference” in Toronto, RIM’s co-CEO Jim Balsillie allegedly revealed that BBM and “other services” will come to the iPhone on April 26 through the App Store. Balsillie also confirmed that they plan to release an update “this summer” with a new notification system, which may or may not suggest RIM knows something about iOS 5 and the improved notifications Apple has been rumored to be working on. But, then again, it is unclear why would RIM know about such an important aspect of iOS and Balsillie’s statements might just be speculation on his side.
Looking back at BGR’s report, however, it sounded like the Android version was set to come out first:
Right now, we have heard that Android is definitely a go. But again, we’re not sure on timing, though our sources are confident that it will launch some time this year. RIM chose Android first because of the fact that it could develop and integrate something like this much easier with an open platform, but the plan is to build and deploy an iOS version at some point as well.
So it is possible that in the next few days an Android version of BBM will be unveiled, with the iPhone app scheduled for a late April launch. The rumor hasn’t been confirmed by RIM, but chances are they are really looking for a way to rise among the competition in the App Store (made of apps like WhatsApp, Textie and Ping) by releasing an iOS counterpart of BBM, which counts millions of users worldwide. [via TUAW]
Update: BGR now reports they have contacted RIM and, apparently, Jim Balsillie didn’t speak at any conference in Toronto this week.
RIM tells us that the story, reporting that BlackBerry Messenger would arrive as an app for Apple’s iPhone on April 26th, is false. “RIM did not hold a conference in Toronto this week, and Jim Balsillie did not speak at any event in Toronto this week.