UPDATED: BlackBerry Messenger to hit iPhone on 26th April?

Could Blackberry Messenger hit the iPhone on the 26th April? Following a story earlier this month about RIM possibly bringing its Blackberry Messenger to iOS and Android, a MacRumours forum member has said that Co-CE Jim Balsillie reportedly announced at a recent social media conference, that RIM is planning to bring BBM and "other services" to iOS on April 26th.

RIM had a Social Media conference today in Toronto, and my entire college business and marketing class was invited to the event. RIM's co-ceo Jim Balsillie revealed that they plan to bring BBM and "other services" to iPhone on April 26 via the app store.

Balsillie also supposedly revealed that RIM are already planning an update to take advantage of a new notification system in iOS this summer. Of course, RIM has neither confirmed or denied this rumour, but it is slightly peculiar that RIM would invite a class of college students to an event, and announce something like this.

Do you think this is real? fake? or really fake? Would you use BBM, if it came to iPhone?

UPDATE: Really, really, fake according to RIM.

[MacRumours via TUAW]

[via BGR]

George Lim

Writer for iMore, YouTube Vlogger, and Host for [TEChBrits]

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There are 84 comments. Add yours.

Daniel says:

I pray to the rumor gods that this is real!

Maxipad says:

Think RIM is under the impression that "Suicide is painless".

Dood says:

I am shivering with excitement for this incredibly unique app to be delivered to iPhone users everywhere.
Gosh. How did we ever get by without it.

igorsky says:

What's the purpose? It's not like we've all been cut off from communicating with our BB friends up to this point, and now all of a sudden we'll be able to communicate with them thanks to this app.

MichelleRo says:

The purpose, for me at least, is to communicate with those out of the country. BBM allows instant texting to anyone anywhere with no charges. I cannot simply text my friends in England.

JHK says:

Yes you can. I can think of many apps for that. KaKao Talk is one for instance. You just need a wife or 3g connection, which BBM doesn't need... but BBM is still a data transfer, they 'disguise' it as BBM.

Nii says:

WhatsApp is pretty good too

Maniacfive says:

Depends on the price. I'd probably download as I do still have some foolish people* who don't have iPhones yet on my contact list ;) and I honestly can't recommend the BB version of Whatsapp. (Not the developers fault mind you.)

igorsky says:

But don't you send text messages to those people? I'm just trying to find a compelling reason why someone would need a BBM app. Maybe if it has RIM's typical encryption...then I can see wanting it for security reason. Other than that...

Thomas_xsr says:

igorsky, i get where you are coming from, but check this out, many of us have family, friends, relatives, loved ones across the world not only in the usa, as i do for instance, all 56 of my bbm contacts are from my home in barbados, i moved to ga for university, and intl text message charges are criminal at best so in this case a bbm app on iphone would be glorious as i have tried all other im's available on iphone and they are simply not as reliable as bbm ( just my opinion based on my experiences) (and i mean all other instant messengers that stay in active state indefinately) , however i love the iphone and am waiting for the next update, soooo i mean from this perspective it would be great as most people in the caribbean dont use iphones as the carriers there are not as developed as the ones we have here.

igorsky says:

Actually, Thomas, you make a good point. And if BBM on iPhone will be free internationally just like on BB, then I'd be interested myself. Also group chats are pretty cool and something iPhone is definitely missing.
Now go get your degree and move back to that beautiful island! :)

Maniacfive says:

To answer you're original question, for sure I still text them. Although as they own BB's they should really be treated as social pariahs... I jest, I jest :-)
But as Thomas points out, Internationally, texting is expensive and made of fail. I have friends in Australia and Japan, most with iPhones but some without, and worse, some with Blackberries! BBM would work wonders :-D
I do have to pay for my data, but the data cost of whatsapp is so minimal I would imagine BBM to be the same.

RodneyJ725 says:

Does the forum member have a name? And, if this was announced at a media conference, would there not be official reportage by now, not merely a forum post by "someone"?
If true, cool...I liked BBM when I was rocking a Bold 9000, but frankly i can, and do, the same stuff with IM+ Pro.

Dood says:

Hahaha I love that a MacRumors.com forum member was able to somehow inspire an "article" here.
I posted on MacRumors once that the iPhone 5 will have a jetpack. I can't wait for George's or Rene's "news" about that.

Maniacfive says:

Jetpack!/! 1st day purchase for me.
But seriously, think the difference here is that this is a rumour thats already got some whispers in the press. Its an unlikely source for sure but unlike your jetpack rumour, this might actually have some legs.
I wouldn't be surprised if BBM makes an iOS debut at some point. I would however be surprised if this source was confirmed as accurate/credible!

Ed says:

If this happens (and it will) I will galdly hand over my Bold 9700 for free and enthusiastically go to the AT&T to purchase the iPhone 5 when it drops this summer. :)

dcgore says:

I don't understand why RIM would give their only leverage out to their competitors, it's not like they want to be a software only company.

Chris says:

Sweet, now we'll have the option to pay a dollar for something we can do with normal text. If it's free, I'll try it. If not, RIM fail.

breakmedown says:

You're either totally kidding or have never used BBM and know nothing about it.
BBM will tell you sent/read, you can updated your status, song you're listening to, it can send pictures and voice notes (over WiFi, none the less), it does group chat, and has unmatched security.
There are other programs that do those things, but those are all things that text messaging alone can't do. So saying simply texting someone is the same is ludacris.
LiveProfile for BB and a couple other programs have potential, but quite honestly, if BBM was as good on all platforms as it is on the BB, I'm sure they could sell it and most people would migrate to it. Say what you want about being able to get the same stuff elsewhere, no programs is as quality and all inclusive as BBM is. Atleast on a BB. We'll see about on the iPhone and Android. Just look at Google Maps and how much better it is on Android vs iOS and BB.

AmericaV6 says:

Not to mention you can text message with bbpin users from other countries...

skydiver says:

RIM on iPhone would be nice, but I'd rather see it integerated with iPhone's current iOS SMS messanging rather that a seperate app for texting. Lets face it, the current SMS system on iOS is antiquated.

Dood says:

SMS is antiquated, but BBM is not?

igorsky says:

Seriously. Aside from the encryption, what exactly is the practical difference between SMS and BBM, especially if the SMS is presented in threaded view? None.

stoneland says:

The big selling point for BBM (and apps like BBM, like Live Profile) is the fact that there are read and delivery receipts. I loved this feature when I had a BlackBerry. You can tell if and when something was sent and if and when something was read. Also, BBM doesn't have text limits or file size limits (I believe). When I get a lengthy SMS from someone who's not on AT&T, it gets chopped up into multiple messages. For someone who doesn't have an unlimited SMS plan this can definitely add up. Also, BBM doesn't require giving out your phone number or email as it relies on a PIN. Blocking a PIN is much easier than blocking a number from sending you texts as you can do the former right from the app. You also have group chats and other features like status messages and profile photos. So there are plenty of "practical differences" between SMS and BBM.

Sev says:

BBM has sent and read indicators, free international messaging and no character limits.... and 2 years ago it would have been killer on iPhone. now? ehhh.... pingchat is great as the 'new' bbm. and it's not crippled like the official BBM app is rumored to be

Dood says:

I fail to see the practical use of BBM. Read receipts are seriously lame. If you weren't unlikeable then you wouldn't need this "feature". Who cares if someone has read your message and chooses not to respond - you obviously weren't important enough in the first place.
I've never had the use for "PIN/Number blocking". If someone SMS's me and I don't like them, I tel them to stop messaging me.
I've never cared about character limit since most of my conversations in SMS are limited to "what are you wearing" or "please cook me dinner" and those stay under the size restraints.
BBM is weak. It's minor details to support a general purpose that is handled by better applications.

igorsky says:

Regarding free international messaging...don't you still have to pay for data?

king3pj says:

Yes you still have to pay for data. You aren't understanding what he means though. Using bbm in Michigan I can send and receive bbm messages to any blackberry user anywhere in the world but it is still charged as data in Michigan. You aren't charged any more to send to England than you are to Florida. It's similar to sending an email to other countries. He didn't mean international data roaming.

stoneland says:

@Dood: There are some folks who say more than 160 characters in an SMS messaage. But to each his own. I think apps like BBM will only help and provides an option for people who need more than regular SMS.

Mom of Naa says:

I'm wishing this one is true. I have so many friends with BB's. It's the only thing I miss about giving up my BB for the iphone4.

fastlane says:

They should add an email app, too. BlackBerry users can't find email on the iPhone. Remember them all coming here and saying they still prefer their BlackBerrys so they can email? :lol:

chirmer says:

They probably were posting in the time it took for their truncated email to load the rest of the content XD

Dozer78 says:

I just switched to iPhone from blackberry and the only thing I miss is bbm. If you used it then you would understand why people are excited. I still don't know what rim will gain by doing this but I for one will gladly use it on my iPhone.

Dood says:

I came to use the iPhone after being an owner of years worth of Blackberry devices (7100g, 8700, and the curve 8310), and I can tell you I don't miss BBM one bit. In fact, I laugh when people talk about missing it.

stoneland says:

@Dood: And because you don't miss BBM or never used it when you had a BlackBerry, this must mean everyone else is just like you, right?

Dood says:

If everybody was just like me the world would be a better place Michael. SMS transmissions are no place to have a wordy conversation. Neither is BBM.

chirmer says:

It is if it's the only option, apart from emailing, which is less reliable. BBM tells you if they received it and whether or not they read it. Guarantees can be important in certain situations.

Dood says:

@Chirmer - if it's so important that the person receive the message you could always call.

francolasalsa#IM says:

People need to understand the SMS and IM while EXTREMELY similar , are NOT the same thing. If you have used BBM in the past and have been involved in group chats and other features you would understand, the best way to explain it is IM programs are for POWER texters while SMS is for lighter texters. Yes you may send a thousand sms per months but do you also take part in group convos, send calender appointments and contacts and pics to 2-10 people all in one shot? that's what BBM and other more inferior IM programs do. It matters to a lot of people, so you dont need to chime in with your "we just use sms and who needs this?" because sms is like checking your email at your own leisure while programs like BBM and textplus are like getting push Email. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE !

iphone365 says:

i think it`s just another rumour.

websyndicate says:

Great another useless client in the app
Store. Really who cares I don't know anybody that uses BBM

chirmer says:

Do you know anyone who uses punctuation? If so, you should hang out with them more often.

imthetalkofny says:

WHY/HOW does anyone LOVE/MISS BBM? There is this amazing app called messages that allows you to do teh same thing...TEXT your friends...I know.. How cool is that? Who would of thought that BBMing and texting are the same thing? Do you honestly care if the person got the message or not? Thats the only thing BBM has over a regular texting app. BBM app will be like the KIK app...IN then OUT.
What "other" services can RIM bring to iPhone...Do they think we have the Blackberry app workd with the crappiest apps on Earth...Think again. We've had "other" services for years now. 5 years and blackberry will be out.

stoneland says:

If you read some of the comments in this post you can see some of the features that BBM (and apps like BBM) have over SMS. Some people prefer having said features.
Also, it's "would HAVE" and not "would of"...you might want to fix your grammar up a bit.

imthetalkofny says:

Dam... if I had BBM that would have corrected it for me right?...OH WELL!! For those that have Blackberry "phones", the only reason they keep them is becasue they love BBM... Guess they wont be keeping them anymore....FAIL!

fayek says:

i think RIM thinks it could make more profit from selling the bbm app to iOS users than by actually selling blackberries heehe
just kidding :) i love both and use both! :D

Greyscale says:

Can't see it happening. BBM is about the only reason to get a BB, at least for non business purposes.

Jentino says:

Wow! Soon i can linked up with my friends that uses BBM. IF APPLE APROVE IT...

shaolinfinest says:

Some of you really do not understand.
"Why do we need BBM when there are other Apps out there like BBM"
Answer: Because it is easier to use BBM with your friends that use Blackberry Messanger rather than having them use BBM and try to use the App that you have. I wish I could use BBM on my iPhone but I am not going to download a copy cat and try to convience my friends to use another app.
"I don't see the use of BBM on an iPhone because I have no friends who use BBM"
Answer: Great for you that all your friends are only on Facebook and you have no real friends with real phones. For real, thats your answer that you have no friends with BBM so there is no use for it on iPhone. Just because you see no use means there is no use.
"What is so great about BBM, I can do the same through text"
Answer: Thank you sir for being ignorant because you sir do not fully understand BBM so how can you really compare them. They are nothing a like.
P.S for those who use the word "FAIL" you really are tools and need to be put away. It is so annoying when people say that, it is like their IQ is so low that is the only thing you can come up with.

scott says:

BBM in its' current form, if I remember my Bold days, is only between BB devices. And, it's free if I recall. I have to PAY $30.00 a month to ATT for my unlimited TXT package. BBM was part of the BB data package. THAT my friends is a big thing.

John says:

I'm on whatsapp. When my friends and family want to message me, they know where to find me.


I've never owned a blackberry but have always heard about this feature and how popular it is upon it's users, but everytime someone explains to me how it works and it's purpose it's no different than kik and/or PingChat in my head... I that really the case? If so, I don't really see why it's needed either besides the fact that it most likely has more users

chirmer says:

It is pretty much the same as those apps... so much so with Kik that it's banned from RIM's servers. The difference is subtle but present, though: BBM has been around for a LONG time, and has been revised over and over again to be the great product it is today. The other difference is: if you have friends who use BBM, then they don't have to change how to message you; they can use what they're used to. I know I left the BB world for my iPhone and NONE of my BBM friends are willing to give any other app a try. BBM is simply the best and it's complicated to use a bajillion apps to contact all of your non BB friends when you could just use BBM or texting. Convenience is key. Plus, if BB users knew they'd not lose their BBM contacts by getting an iPhone... goodbye BlackBerry.

Edy says:

iPhone is the best, much much better than a Blackberry overall.... BUT the BBM service is outstanding... a Global "social" chat messaging network out of the box, you don´t need to download or pay for a third party app... chat, share contacts, pics and video to any BB user or LARGE GROUP in the World, for FREE! because lets stablish that a Smartphone NEEDS a Carrier Data plan, and most of Blackberrys owners have one, so for them BBM is FREE. (And also consider that encryption all other stuff isn't important for the majority of BB owners who use it for social purposes)
So I really don´t see how a standard SMS can compete with BBM... unless you have an unlimites sms package.. which in many countries doesn´t exist.. so to keep a large group chat, shAre pics, etc.. all of the people you are sending the sms need also an sms package, because otherwise all of you will be paying for the multiple sms... I know that there are also new apps that send SMS for free that gives you a new special number kind of a PIN... but I insist you have to download it, and tell al of your contacts to also pay or download it. (I use WhatsApp, it´s great but mostly between iPhone owners, have lots of friends with BBs so they don´t need other app...)
And lets face that lots of people have BBs, they like them, they just don´t need anything else, so for us iPhone users the option to communicate with them is great. (Just lets see the price for the app or how it will work).
So if RIM gives BBM to iPhone it should be an expensive app... because otherwise BB will lose it only advantage for normal customers (not enterprises)

FrostByte says:

As a avid iPhone (former Blackberry) user, I'm thrilled at the idea of BBM on IOS. But at the same time I can't help but wonder if this is just another nail in the coffin. BBM is the single most compelling reason i stayed with Blackberry for so long, and the reason many of my friends and colleagues remain there. I'm think with Rim's current track record of missteps I doubt their going about this in such as way as to prevent a mass exodus.
Is it Just me or is RIM RIP?

GargoyleDC says:

I would DEFINITELY use it. I miss some of the emoticons and also have some friends still on BB.

HungWell says:

I just crazy glued a red LED onto my iPhone in anticipation of this!

Dood says:

HungWell will succeed in life.

AlexLovesStaudts says:

I didn't even know Blackberry had a proprietary messaging system. Whatever. The very few people I know who have a Blackberry are waiting for their contract to expire or are cursing their company for not giving them an iPhone.

igorsky says:

From my personal experience...I've owned a BB, and I enjoyed using it. But when I switched platforms (in my case to the iPhone), I continued messaging without any significant adjustments in my own behavior. So for me, personally, BBM is not such an essential tool as to disrupt my messaging needs.
With that said, if what people here are saying is true, and BBM is the MAIN reason for remaining with a BB, then the end is already written. In the real world, RIM's one true advantage over other products is the quality of their push email, and their encryption. And those advantages are getting less significant as other manufacturers improve their encryption (as Apple is doing), and push email becomes widely available (as iPhone owners, like myself, set up their personal email accounts via Exchange).

igorsky says:

Also, I mean two advantages :D

Wimsy says:

This would be awesome now you can chat with multi people in one chat instead of just one and share Multi media.

DRHughes says:

I knew it was fake! But it would of been nice..

Spiderman says:

I am willing to pay for this. I am so happy <3

roseventyfour says:

i have never understood the purpose of BBM. even when i onwned a BB i never used it. maybe back when texting plans were outrageously priced this would have been excellent.

omfgitsjustin says:

With an unlimited text package, I see no reason to install BBM on my iPhone. I mean back in the day when blackberry phones were the thing, BBM was cool cause everyone was doing it. Now with Android taking off, Iphone being so popular and now WP7 phones coming into play, people will be asking "What is a BBM?"

chirmer says:

I just can't believe all of the people commenting about how SMS is the same. BBM is texting on CRACK.
Send text..............................x...................x....
Send pictures........................x.................requires MMS + File size limit
Send Video............................x.................requires MMS + file size limit
Smilies..................................x...............text smilies only
Send special characters.........x.........................
Delivery notices....................x.........................
Display pictures....................x.........................
No Character Limit................x........................
Group Chat...........................x...............requires certain phones and functions poorly
Preview Pictures....................x........................
Send Contacts.......................x........................
I know there's more that BBM can do, but that's all I can think of right now. It blows SMS out of the water and anyone who says otherwise is just a doodoohead. Everyone but RIM would benefit from this (unless they charged for it... and I'd pay $30 for this).
I know this rumor is fake, but I hope they do this eventually! Crackberry Kevin supports spreading the love :D

chirmer says:

Formatting comments is SO HARD. ugh

jentino says:

UPDATE: Really, really, fake according to RIM. [via CrackBerry.com and BGR]
Now we all live in dreamland

B.Boston says:

Wow, lots of BBM haters out there... I personally would LOVE BBM on the iPhone, as long as it works as well as BBM on blackberry. If it is like Whatsapp or Pingchat then there is really no point (although it would be easier if you don't have to convince your BB friends to download a new app).
For everyone saying SMS and BBM/IM is the same... WRONG. At my office I get little-to-no cell coverage (first level. towards the center of the building). With BBM/IM I can still talk using WIFI signal. Try sending a SMS message over WIFI or SMS while you're abroad and want to talk to family back home and I think you'll find a good IM client and hotel WIFI service is the most cost effective option.

Chris says:

Again iPhones  on blackberrhs

Nexxfinity says:

That's not fair! Apple has seriously corrupted the world! I hope this does not approve, & that RIM denies this rumor. Apple is seriously taking over almost everything. Who knows what gonna be next?!