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BBM for Android, iOS will bring back the deserters, believes BlackBerry

Ankit Tuteja | http://ibnlive.in.com/byline/Ankit-Tuteja.html

Updated: September 20, 2013, 1:32 PM IST
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BBM for Android, iOS will bring back the deserters, believes BlackBerry
BlackBerry's BBM service will be expanded to Android and iOS users from this weekend.

New Delhi: BlackBerry's iconic BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is coming to Android and iOS this weekend and many believe that this will lead to a fresh round of exodus of the BlackBerry faithful, because the one service that kept many of the remaining BlackBerry faithful glued to the platform will be available on the more popular operating systems. But BlackBerry believes that the opposite will be true.

In an interview with IBNLive, Sunil Lalvani, managing director, BlackBerry India, said that by taking the BBM service cross-platform, the company will gain back its customers that it has lost in the past. Justifying his opinion, Lalvani said that "we have seen a lot of users in the past leaving BlackBerry and switching to other platforms because of the availability of the cross-platform instant-messaging tools on them. But now when we are taking the BBM service cross platform, we believe and expect our erstwhile customers to be back to BlackBerry as they are going to get what they were deprived of."

Earlier BBM would only allow the BlackBerry users to interact with other BlackBerry users, but the idea of bringing them on Android and iOS will empower users to communicate with friends and people across platforms, Lalvani added.

Lalvani is of the opinion that by making the BBM service available across platforms, the company will also attract new customers who have not used BlackBerry's messaging service ever.

Talking about the roadmap of its BBM service, Lalvani said currently the idea is to expand the user base from the current 60 million monthly active BBM users and reaching out to over a billion on Android and iOS.

While the BBM service is going to be available for free on Android and iOS, Lalvani said that the company has conceived a few monetisation models but that will come at a later stage. Currently, BlackBerry's priority is to expand the user base.

When asked about the availability of BBM Video calling and BBM Voice calling on Android and iOS, Lalvani said that it is a part of the Android and iOS plan, but he refused to divulge any dates.

Will the BBM for Android and iOS bring back the quitters back to the BlackBerry fold? Let us know in the comments.

First Published: September 20, 2013, 1:32 PM IST
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