Speculation is swirling about the upcoming release of the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) client for iOS and Android following a Twitter report from a UK carrier.
The account of T-Mobile UK on Thursday leaked that the messaging platform would arrive on Apple and Android handsets on 27 June. The tweet, which has since been deleted, read: "Great news - BlackBerry Messenger will be available to download on iOS and Android from June 27th!"
BlackBerry had previously said that it was working to build multiple versions of its messaging platform for third-party handsets. Chief executive Thorston Heins said that the free application would look to expand BlackBerry's reach into the mobile communications space.
Soon after reports surfaced, BlackBerry made moves to squelch the talk of a late June release for the software. The firm said, "While there have been reports that BBM will be available to iOS and Android on June 27th, this is not accurate. We will communicate an update as soon as we have an availability date to share."
When BlackBerry does bring BBM to the iOS and Android markets, the company should not expect to see a major gain. Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said that while the BBM port will help BlackBerry owners to better communicate with colleagues and friends on other platforms, the release itself is unlikely to lure customers from other platforms.
“The attraction of BBM is the free nature of the service so for those customers who are price sensitive it might be a factor to consider and the fact that you can communicate with friends who are not on BlackBerry certainly makes things easier,” Milanesi explained. “I do not expect an iPhone user to move to BlackBerry because they try BBM on their phone.”
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