BlackBerry Messenger has been confirmed as coming to Android. That news arrived back in mid-May and while there was some initial excitement, that appears to have for the most part gone away. There was a brief mention yesterday suggesting BBM would be launching for Android on June 27th, however even that wasn’t meet with much in terms of excitement. For now the June 27th launch date remains unconfirmed, but there appears to be more to this story.
It seems BlackBerry is looking to have Messenger pre-loaded on select Android handsets. Basically, it is looking like BBM could end up another piece of bloatware and hopefully it will be a piece that is able to be removed. While this bit has been confirmed by the folks at BlackBerry, there hasn’t been much said in terms of which devices may have BBM pre-loaded.
BlackBerry Chief Operating Officer Kristian Tear told CNET that “there is interest from other handset makers.” Touching on that potential release date, Tear declined to comment on when BBM would be released for Android. There was some talk of the current user base. At present Tear noted that BBM has an active user base of 61 million and that 70 percent are using it daily.
While that is certainly not a small number, there may be another hitch in terms of the success on Android. This other hitch comes from Google. Specifically, Hangouts which we saw announced a short while back during Google I/O. BBM may seem like a good option for Android users to keep in touch with friends and family on other platforms, however so is Hangouts.
The other side of this story is whether BBM coming to other platforms will convince some BlackBerry users to finally switch devices. After all, we suspect there may be a few long term BlackBerry users that are sticking around for a few limited reasons, one of which may be BBM. Of course, that was addressed by Tear who spoke about how they (BlackBerry) doesn’t “feel like that is a risk.” So how about it, is anyone excited about the upcoming launch of BBM on Android?