RIM announced earlier this week that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is coming to both iOS and Android as a free download later this summer.
While RIM's market share continues to plummet, the number of folks who still use BBM is rather impressive. In a post on BlackBerry's official blog earlier this week, RIM boasted that BBM services more than 60 million active users per month and that BBM users send and receive more than 10 billion messages each and every day.
For iOS users excited to explore, or perhaps get reacquainted with BBM, I should point out that BBM for iOS will only work on iPhones running iOS 6. In other words, iPad owners need not apply.
The news comes courtesy of Trusted Reviews which was able to get a direct statement on the matter from BlackBerry Software Portfolio head Vivek Bhardwaj.
"Smartphone is our real focus and and again it comes back to what BBM is," Bhardwaj explained. "If you look BBM and the engagement and the activity, it's because it is mobile, because people are on the go."
That's not to say that BBM for the iPad won't eventually see the light of day, but for the time being, BBM on smartphones appears to be the only thing on RIM's radar.
Explaining the company's decision to avoid iPad and other tablets in order to focus the BBM app launch on smartphone devices, he stated: "When you start looking at tablets, computers and other screens, the usage model changes and behaviour changes. For us right now the absolute focus is getting BBM onto smartphones.
As previously indicated, BBM for iOS will include the following features:
- The immediacy of BBM chats
- Multi-person chats
- Voice note sharing
- BlackBerry Groups, where BBM users are able to set up groups of up to 30 people and share calendar, photos, files and more