Amid reports that BlackBerry’s market share in the U.S. has reached an unbelievable 0% there’s also a rumor (backed up by a leaked apk) that the company is going to soon launch a BBM build for devices that still run Gingerbread, an Android version that was launched in late 2010. N4BB (via MobileSyrup) reports that BBM for Gingerbread is already available unofficially, providing a link to the apk file that can be sideloaded on compatible devices.
According to the publication, this is a beta version of the app that has certain “tweaks in the UI” including a gray top bar and a “Find Friend on BBM feature.” The app runs “fairly well” on a Gingerbread device, but, in a bit of ironic twist, it won’t work on a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
By targeting Gingerbread users, BlackBerry shows that it’s really interested in growing its BBM user base at any costs, with the popularity of its BBM service being one of the potential weapons the company may use in order to reinvent itself.
According to Google’s most recent Android distribution data that was released in early January, Gingerbread is still the second-most popular Android version in the world, with a 21.2% share, after Jelly Bean.
In December, BlackBerry revealed that over 40 million smartphone users have downloaded its BBM app on iOS and Android devices.