BlackBerry has just announced that its hugely popular BBM messaging service is going multi-platform: it will be released for Android and iOS as a free app this summer. BBM will support iOS hardware running iOS 6 and above; the Android version will be compatible with version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and above.
This move is far too late for BlackBerry. Multiple journalists noted on Twitter that this is a move that would perhaps have best been made about four years ago.
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins noted that BlackBerry is making this move now as “a statement of confidence”. Apparently they’re so confident in BB10 that they no longer need BBM to be an exclusive-to-BlackBerry service in order to attract users. I highly doubt that’s the case. It’s probably more a case of getting the spotlight back on BlackBerry and getting users using their products again.
Cynicism aside, it’ll be interesting to see what sort of apps BlackBerry cooks up for both Android and iOS.