The BlackBerry Playbook has been without the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app since its inception and it looked like it was never going to have one. A screenshot, however, has recently emerged of what looks like a native BBM application on a Playbook, giving rise to speculation that a native app for the popular instant messaging service may be on the way soon for the tablet.

As of now, there is no confirmation that this is a native app for BBM running on the Playbook, but this image definitely looks like something that could raise a few questions. From the onset, the BlackBerry Playbook did not feature a BBM application and if one wanted to chat using this service on their Playbook, they would need to use BlackBerry Bridge feature along with a BlackBerry smartphone in order for it to run.

BBM may come on the PlayBook

BBM may come on the PlayBook

If one owned only a BlackBerry Playbook and not a BlackBerry smartphone, then the possibility of using the BBM service on the tablet is nil. With the BlackBerry 10 launch event around the corner, maybe Research in Motion has some plans for the Playbook as well and intends to launch a native app for the tablet too.

For those not in the know, Research In Motion has already started sending out invitations for the launch events of the operating system, which will be held on January 30, 2013. The launch events will be held in cities around the world, including New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Johannesburg and Dubai.

At the time, there weren't many details other than the invitations. All we know is that RIM will be showcasing the operating system during the launch events and will undoubtedly unveil the next line-up of BlackBerry devices that will be running the OS.

This day will mark the official launch of its new platform, BlackBerry 10, as well as the unveiling of the first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Details on the smartphones and their availability will be announced at the event.

There have been a few leaks in the past regarding the upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices which are expected to feature the model names – Z10 and X10 when they hits shelves. The BlackBerry Z10 is a new touchscreen device and will run on the BlackBerry 10 OS. The X10, a handset that is designed similarly to the present Bold series of devices, will also be announced and it too will feature this new platform. As of now, details on pricing or availability of these handsets are yet unknown but rumours suggest that both handsets will launch before the end of the first half of 2013.

BlackBerry 10 will offer a large catalogue of leading applications from across the globe and across categories, including Games, Productivity, Social, Lifestyle and Leisure, Multimedia and Published Content, as well as applications designed for business and enterprise use.

The BlackBerry 10 platform recently achieved FIPS 140-2 certification, which means government agencies will be able to deploy BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 as soon as it is available. The company claims that this marks the first time BlackBerry products have been certified ahead of their launch.

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