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As the old saying goes: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! At least that seems to be the thinking at BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, who seems to be pondering a move to bring their popular BlackBerry Messenger software to Google’s Android -- and later down the line, even iOS.
BGR is reporting “multiple trusted sources” from within Research in Motion claim the company is working to move its popular BlackBerry Messenger service to Android, “and eventually to iOS as well.” Still under consideration is what, if anything, to charge for the privilege -- all options appear to be on the table, including a one-time fee, a recurring fee or even as a freebie.
“As far as what Android and iOS users can look forward to, we’ve been told RIM will offer stripped down versions of the BBM experience BlackBerry owners know and love,” BGR reveals. “That way, Android and iOS users can communicate with practically anyone who has a smartphone using BBM, but they might not be able to share photos, location, or videos (when RIM crosses that bridge). Users who want the full BlackBerry Messenger experience will still need a BlackBerry smartphone to get it. At the same time, RIM could own the entire messaging app category on every major smartphone OS platform and could potentially draw new users in because it has given them a taste of what BlackBerry Messenger is all about.”
Apparently, a version of BlackBerry Messenger for Google’s Android “is definitely a go,” with a launch “some time this year” -- presumably to be followed soon after by a version for iOS. BGR claims that RIM has become “very frustrated” in seeing third-party apps such as WhatsApp and Kik popularizing the BBM concept, “and RIM apparently wants to own the space.”
What remains to be seen is how RIM will fare against a host of messaging apps already lining the virtual shelves of Google’s Android Marketplace and Apple’s iOS App Store -- but hey, there’s always room for more, right?
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of BGR)