BlackBerry puts BBM into Samsung devices: What will happen from here?
According to a press release picked up by N4BB, Samsung’s African division has announced that BlackBerry’s BBM messaging software is going to find its way onto selected Android devices.
This isn’t going to be a unique instance, of course – it’s been long rumoured and expected that BBM will make its way onto Android and iOS. The dates have been a little on the vague side though; last month, BB’s India MD Sunil Lalvani said that the Android iteration will be available in North America by the end of September, when pressed hard in an IBN Live interview.
“Bringing a top tier messaging service such as BBM is another way that we are expanding the catalogue of our messaging services and offering customers an amazing way to stay instantly connected with colleagues, friends and family,” trumpeted George Ferreira, VP and COO of Samsung Electronics Africa in a canned quote.
The app is planned to move into Samsung’s Messaging Hub, and will be free from the Samsung and Google Play app stores on launch.
Elsewhere, leaked pictures of the long rumoured BlackBerry Z30 have surfaced, according to one-stop BB shop CrackBerry. For anyone thinking ‘what about the A10?’; well they’re one and the same, with the nascent device becoming the Z30 upon official release.
The CrackBerry report notes that the follow up to the Z10 may be later this year – and according to some, it can’t come soon enough. Even though DeveloperTech covered the touchscreen Z10 launch with gusto back in January, you could get one on eBay now for around £250.
This author has long been a fan of BlackBerry Balance – a near enough enterprise play, granted, but slick containerising software nonetheless – and with decent performance, it’s a perfectly good phone in the mid-range market; yet the competition is just too vast.
As a result, thoughts naturally turn back to BBM – BlackBerry’s clearest chance to make a gain in a saturated sector. Speaking to sister site Enterprise AppsTech last week, Splashtop CEO Mark Lee said without thinking that it’s a “three horse race” for OS share. Let’s put it this way: only the most ardent BlackBerry fan would think he wasn’t referring to Windows Phone for that third position.
Bottom line, therefore is vitally important. For now, only Droid users in Africa will see the benefits of BBM. Given free messaging software is so vital in emerging markets – the likes of M-Pesa for instance, who offers banking services by SMS – it’s definitely an interesting place to start this push.
BlackBerry could yet find success in the software market. Given that in a previous life Research in Motion had a great niche in hardware, it’s not an outrageous assertion, although CEO Thorsten Heins admitted he was mulling over sourcing BB10 out to Android and selling its hardware division altogether.
Many of BlackBerry’s recent profit-busting initiatives have revolved around the software side rather than the hardware, and given the Canadian manufacturer recently found its place in the Gartner mobile device management (MDM) Magic Quadrant, the potential is certainly there.
But what do you think? What are your expectations regarding BBM on other operating systems, and what will the future hold?