April 13, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
BBM is the saving grace of RIM’s beleaguered product portfolio. The company is constantly losing market share and money, but it has managed to keep a large portion of its users thanks to leading enterprise services and its popular group messaging client BBM. But would those customers hang around if BBM were available on other platforms like Android or iOS?
We may be asking that question if a leaked photo of BBM for Android proves to be legitimate. TechnoBuffalo.com posted an image from a source claiming to be using BBM for Android to discover bugs. Using a BlackBerry device in what’s probably RIM’s Android player, you can see both Android and iPhone listed among the standard groups used to send text, photos, and location to a group. The source claims the Android version will launch later this year.
This isn’t the first time purported BBM for Android images have appeared, but the idea seems more believable in today’s climate. RIM has since launched an enterprise device management service for Android and iOS called Mobile Fusion. With BBM proving to be a valuable asset, it’s possible the company would bring a form of it to Mobile Fusion in order to make the product more appealing to clients.
But is it too little too late? People have been suggesting for almost two years that RIM needed to either deliver groundbreaking phones or start supporting Android and focus on its enterprise services. Android’s rise has come primarily at BlackBerry’s expense during that time, and the same people said they couldn’t live without BBM have since moved on to GroupMe, Touch, or Facebook Messenger (or iMessage if they switched to an iPhone). If and when BBM does come to Android, there might not be that many people who care.