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BlackBerry Messenger could be preloaded on competing devices, says report

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BBM for Android and iOS
BBM for Android and iOS

The biggest announcement to come out of BlackBerry Live last month was that the company plans to offer its BlackBerry Messenger service on iOS and Android in the near future. But that might not be where BlackBerry's plans to expand BBM end. In an interview with CNET, BlackBerry chief operating officer Kristian Tear said that "there is interest from other handset makers," with regards to possibly preloading BBM on competing handsets from other manufacturers.

Preloading BBM on a handset could provide companies with a robust messaging platform without them having to invest in developing one of their own. Tear didn't specify any particular companies that might be interested, but it's a safe bet to say that Apple and Samsung (and most likely other top-tier manufacturers, such as HTC), are not planning to preload BBM on their devices. Apple already has its own iMessage service built into iOS, and Samsung has its own ChatOn messaging service on its handsets. That's not to mention Google Hangouts, which comes installed by default on every Android device sold. Rather, if BlackBerry is able to work out deals to preload BBM on competing handsets out of the box, it will likely be with lower tier manufacturers, such as Huawei and ZTE, which still offer many phones unbranded in the US.

BlackBerry still hasn't revealed exactly when BBM for iOS and Android will be available in their respective app stores, but it did say that we can expect to see it this summer. If that will be enough to woo users of other popular services such as iMessage and WhatsApp back to BBM is anyone's guess, but BlackBerry is confident that its over 60 million active users will help win new ones over.