Here’s some unexpected news from a potentially very interesting source, as T-Mobile UK has tweeted the forthcoming BlackBerry Messenger app for Android and iOS will be released on June 27. This date has been suggested by other sources in the past, but none quite as official as a network before. BlackBerry announced BBM would be coming out as a cross-platform app during its Blackberry Live conference last month, but said only that it would be out this summer.
The T-Mobile tweet also included a picture showing what could be BBM running on the Samsung Galaxy S4, which you can see above, although there’s no guarantee it’s genuine and not just made up to accompany the tweet. The BBM app will let users hold chats with more than one person, share voice notes, and access BlackBerry Groups. Future versions will add the BBM Voice feature, as well as let everybody into the new BlackBerry Channels network. BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins confirmed there are 60 million active BBM users in the world, with 51 million using the service on a daily basis.
But what made the tweet particularly notable is its source, as it quickly follows a report BlackBerry is working to get BBM installed as standard on some devices. While BlackBerry’s COO mentioned handset manufacturers, it would make sense if the company was chatting to networks too, and perhaps T-Mobile in the UK has signed up to deliver BBM on phones purchased through it.
Networks pre-installing bloatware, sorry, value added apps is nothing new, and a practice which wins them very few fans, so such a move sounds easier than BlackBerry getting hardware manufacturers to agree to do it. It would likely have an equally, if not more, dramatic effect on BBM’s user numbers too. T-Mobile’s confirmation of the date suggests the app has already been submitted and approved to Google Play and the iTunes App Store, leaving us nothing to do but wait for BlackBerry’s official confirmation.
Updated on 06/06/2013 at 12:15pm by Andy: Well, that was quick. A Business Insider article quoting an anonymous source says T-Mobile is mistaken, and the BBM app won’t be out on June 27, however an alternative date isn’t offered. Although the report says T-Mobile is wrong, it’s also very difficult to take the word of an anonymous source as absolute fact instead.
Updated on 06/06/2013 at 1:40pm by Andy: Engadget has now joined in, saying BlackBerry has informed the site the launch date isn’t correct. T-Mobile has also deleted the tweet.
Article originally published on 06/06/2013 at 11:45am.