Is RIM Getting Ready To Release BlackBerry Messenger App For Android?


TechnoBuffalo came across some images today of a supposed BlackBerry Messenger app for Android. Rumors have been going around for quite awhile now on the fabled BBM app for Android but is this finally solid proof of its existence? To help sway skeptics, the tipsters even provided a little bit of a back story on how the app came into their possession.

I work for RIM and I was shown the latest version of bbm for android. I ran the app on the blackberry android dev phone.( The dev phone feels very cheap and unstable and the front four buttons have just been stuck on. I don’t believe this phone will ever be released to the public.) The latest version certainly looks better than the previous version.

The tipster also mentioned that the app could be unveiled at this year’s BlackBerry Devcon taking place in San Francisco October 18th – 20th.

A few things to keep in mind. First, the “dev phone” seems to be a Motorola device running and old version of Motoblur. I would likely assume an Android developer phone would be running stock Android so that should raise some eyebrows. The second thing worth noting, is that although I wouldn’t call this a shopped-job, it is pretty easy to throw together a makeshift Android app imitating a legit BBM app.

But let’s pretend for a second that these images are, in fact, real and RIM is planning a BlackBerry Messenger app for Android. With arguably RIM’s only saving grace making its way to Android, those that were still hanging onto BlackBerry may finally have all the reason they need for joining Google’s ranks. What do you guys think? Real or fake and why?

[Via TechnoBuffalo]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. I don’t see why anyone cares? Almost everyone has unlimited texting and everyone can get aim or something similar.

    1. You are not thinking big enough, your everyone means people in the USA or North America, let me give you some info, Not everyone in the world has unlimited texting, I am from Trinidad and I pay for each text, and in Trinidad, nearly everyone has a blackberry, this app would mean I can ditch my BB and use only my SGS2 as the only reason I have a BB is for BBM

      1. You are right Brandon, I live in Saint Lucia, no unlimited texting here either. But BlackBerry is big, BBM is what they like. So now I will be able to keep in contact with all my friends that can’t let go of BBM for Android, and they don’t have Google+ or use GTalk

      2. Exactly. Thank you for making this point.

      3. How does that change the fact that you can get any instant messaging application free. AIM, Windows Live, plenty that already exist on Android. They are all free alternatives.

        1. We have a similar situation in the Dominican Republic, to answer your question, the problem is that data plans for blackberries are much cheaper than other platforms in certain countries especially in the Caribbean.

        2. Uhh because BBM has a huge following and AIM, WM Live have a fractured user base? Again you’re being too narrow-minded. AIM and MS live are only popular in North America. BBM’s user base spans the globe.

      4. Yep, the only thing, or should I say “only-est” thing I liked about my old BB Storm was BBM to my family in Trinidad. But even that could not keep me on that phone. What and awful product the Storm was. (Now if they could BBM me a roti that would be different)

        On my last visit back I was surprised to see BB was the rage. I went to a Digicel store to buy a SIM for my D2G and the BBs were sold out, The place was packed with people wanting a BB. Then again, the prices and deals were excellent. It’s cheaper for family in Trinidad to call me in the US than vice versa.

  2. I loved BBM. That’s the only thing I liked about my BB Storm2. I hope this comes to Android!

  3. I would DIE if this app would come out for android. It’s what I’ve been talking about to everyone for a long time, android blackberry getting together since bb is going bankrupt anyways. F*** Apple.

    1. Mind educating me on BBM (since I’ve never owned a BB, I’ve missed out)?

      Isn’t it the same thing as Google Talk? Just a messenger service for BlackBerries? o_O

      1. I had a BB temporarily. I have no idea why it’s so popular. It’s just an overglorified chat service where you can’t lie that you “didn’t read/recieve the message”.

        I think it’s the fact that it’s a seemingly “always-on” chat service (though gtalk has that capability, but not as obvious) is why it’s so popular.

      2. Basically, but my reason for liking it so much is its good for international contacts. Sure, you can text anyone in the States, but for our of the country family members, its easy to keep in contact. Some countries offer BBM plans (Lebanon for example), so people get that as SMS is quite expensive.

  4. Why would they be using some weird crappy custom dev phone anyway? Why make that instead of using existing phones to test on?
    This doesn’t seem right.

    1. I’m sure that’s a motorola phone we’re looking at

  5. I find it more entertaining that their dev phone appears to be running Motoblur (or at least has the framework).

  6. Will it run inside the Android emulator thing on the Playbook? So you could BBM while you BBM?

    1. ROFLCOPTER. #winning

    2. Lolololololololololololol (‘0=’ )

  7. Natively is my best bet.

  8. After hearing about the disapointment in the new iphone 4s announcement….. All I gotta say is that ANDROID IS THE BOMB DIGGITY!!!!!!!! Just had to say that. LOL!!!

  9. You really have to wonder if RIM is toying with the idea of actually putting out an Android phone. I mean it would be easy enough to do and it wouldn’t even have to fly under the Blackberry name if they’re worried about it. Just an experiment of sorts to see if it would sink or swim in the market. It would instantly give them a huge app market for their devices and they could port all of the Blackberry services to it to make it more exclusive. And of course, they could, and likely would, throw a skin on it.

  10. Looks exactly like a DEFY on 2.1. Just do a google search for “defy on 2.1” and check the images. So if it were a dev phone why wouldn’t it be running 2.3?

  11. Oh my god, all my caribbean brothers are there.
    I wasn’t expect so much island people there.

    A Guadeloupean android addict.

  12. I think its real Chris cause Playbook was going to be able to install Android apps with it failing I don’t know if RIm goin to do that now

  13. I have no idea why BB would want to do this. I understand that BBM is a big draw for buying a Blackberry – many people in this comment thread have expressed that they only have a BB for BBM – so why get rid of that incentive by offering it to everyone with an Android phone? Unless they’re going to charge for it, but even that seems a bit short-sighted.

  14. This will be suicide for RIM, BBM is the feature for which some people prefer it
    over another OS and they, if this is true then is the end for RIM

  15. The only advantage that BBM has is that there is no cost whatsoever to use it. Using the app on a non-blackberry will obviously incur data charges, so what’s the point?

  16. If you look at the phone, it DOES look like a defy, as mentioned earlier on. Everything that would show it is a defy has been covered up, and the notification bar is the Motoblur one that comes with earlier versions like that of the defy. And why would Blackberry make an ANDROID phone just to test? Get a nexus. I think this may be a leaked app, but I very highly doubt this is a Blackberry dev phone.

  17. I would use this, the benefit of BBM is that the texts go through RIM’s servers and have no effect on your messaging or data plan. So if you travel you can communicate with friends and family all over the world, and not get nickle and dimed for sending a text.

  18. As I support BB for a major NA telecom, my thoughts on whether this is real or not are based on how RIM services are provisioned.
    1. BB have a unique device PIN #, so this means the androids would need to be assigned a similar PIN either by purchasing a license from RIM or having it integrated into the app.
    2. Carriers have to provision RIM service codes in the billing system for anyone to even have BB data services. That’s why there are BB plans and PDA plans.

    So basically, everyone would need to be assigned a blackberry data plan, or RIM is doing a complete overhaul of their services, opening it up for anything that isn’t a BB to gain access, which in turn means there is likely some change in security.
    I’ll wager this is totally fake based solely on RIM who currently is bleeding money, wouldn’t throw away one of the only reasons their average user is staying with them.

  19. what about bringing BB plans to other phones? If that is the case, then it is definitely a very smart move. The reason why people leave BB is because it’s becoming outdated with all the new phones coming up and apparenly RIM cannot keep up with the competition. The reason why they stay with BB is because of the BBM and other BB services. Cuurently RIM’s phone sales number is shooting down so they need to find some other source of revenue. If they open up the BB plans to other phones, then that means one would buy any phone he wants (including BB) and have all the BB services. This way customers would be happy and RIM would generate that badly needed revenue from their plans. And i think what we see above is part of the development of whole BB service for the other phones.

  20. #1 bb pin exchange site = it’s easy, simple,fast and no registration needed

  21. BB can’t reach Android so they should just become a handset manufacturers like HTC and give their own touch to their phones with this service. Stop it with that awful OS and join the winning team.

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