The crowded cross-platform messaging space is about to get a bit more crowded. Industry watchers have repeatedly said that BlackBerry’s efforts to bring BBM to Android and iOS are far too little, too late to matter now that a handful of behemoths dominate the space. While that may or may not be true, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is definitely a healthy amount of buzz surrounding the imminent release of BlackBerry’s famous messaging service on Google and Apple’s mobile platforms. And now, we have some potential good news for those eager to try out the new app — according to a new report, BBM will launch for both Android and iOS later this week.
UPDATE: It looks like this report was close, but off by one day — or plans changed at the last minute. BlackBerry announced in a “breaking” blog post on Wednesday that BBM for Android will launch at 7:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday, September 21st. BBM for iPhones will then launch at 12:01 a.m. local time on Sunday, September 22nd. BlackBerry noted that BBM for iPhones will require iOS 6 or later.
A report from Indonesian blog TeknoUp claims to reveal BlackBerry’s release schedule for BBM, and if it pans out we’ll see the app hit Android on Friday and iOS on Saturday. Here’s the release schedule, according to the site:
- Friday, Sept 20th, 7am EST: Android version published on Google Play
- Friday, Sept 20th, 7am EST: BBM.com goes live
- Friday, Sept 20th, 7am EST: CRM messages sent out to pre-registrants
- Friday, Sept 20th, 7am EST: Follow-up CRM message sent out after full App Store deployment
- Saturday, Sept 21st: BBM on iOS becomes available 12:01am EST in local time zones.
The app will be free and according to earlier leaks, it looks pretty solid and well-designed. Whether or not it can compete against market leaders like WhatsApp and Line remains to be seen, however.