BBM may come preloaded on handsets manufactured by other companies, according to BlackBerry Chief Operating Officer, Kristian Tear. BlackBerry has said that it is working with other handset manufacturers to get its BlackBerry Messenger service preloaded on to their phones, according to CNET.
In an interview on Wednesday, the BlackBerry top executive revealed that “there is interest from other handset makers.” The expansion of BBM is BlackBerry’s main lookout since the company announced that it was offering the service to other operating systems. The company has said that BBM will be available on both iOS and Android OS devices later this year.
However, Tear did not mention the exact time frame within which the cross-platform version of BBM will be made available. He also went on to address the thought that is prevalent in the market – that BBM is fading. While talking about users who have abandoned BlackBerry in favour of iPhones and Android devices, he said that BBM has an active user base of 61 million customers, out of which 70 percent use BBM daily.
BlackBerry's CEO and President Thorsten Heins announcing that BBM will be seen on other OSs last month…
It was not mentioned, however, as to which companies BlackBerry was approaching. Tear was clear that it was the large base of active users that would motivate other handset manufacturers to have BBM pre-installed on the smartphones. Tear also said that there are many countries where BlackBerry is used as the main form of communication.
BlackBerry is clear that it wants to open up BBM to woo non-BlackBerry users and make them think about its products again. The company is looking to increase its user base as well to compete with the likes of WhatsApp, which has a user base exceeding 200 million people.
When asked about the danger of users abandoning their BlackBerry phones in favour of having a BBM account on rival devices, Tear seemed unconcerned. Addressing the question, Tear said, “We don't feel like that is a risk. Obviously, if we did, we might have acted differently.”
Much of this confidence stems from the BlackBerry 10; a product that the company is confident will help retain its existing customers. Tear is also confident that BBM is a strong tool that will also help get non-BlackBerry users hooked on its products. Tear said, “BBM is a strong platform that provides a different way of communicating.”