A BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) employee tweeted on Friday that BBM for iPhone was submitted to Apple two weeks ago, and was awaiting approval before it would see a release date. BlackBerry has not commented on whether BBM for Android is awaiting similar approval.
Alex Kinsella, social media and public relations manager for BlackBerry, did not respond to a request for comment regarding a release date for an Android version of BBM. BlackBerry has previously stated that they would release BBM for iPhone and Android this "summer," later confirming that they meant the North American definition of the season -- or sometime by Sept. 21.
â€” Alex Kinsella (@alexkinsella) September 6, 2013
Kinsella's comments may preface BlackBerry's inability to release BBM for iPhone and Android by its self-imposed Sept. deadline. The company has previously said it would release the new cross-platform messaging apps as soon as they are approved by Google and Apple.
Update (9/10/13): BBM for Android and iPhone has still not yet been released, but there are several fake versions appearing in the Google Play Store, which could potentially install malware or otherwise harm mobile devices. Smartphone users in the U.S. interested in BBM for Android should sign up here for an email notice as soon as BBM is released for Android and iPhone (iOS). International users can also sign up for reminders on their respective sites, such as BlackBerry South Africa or BlackBerry Canada.
BlackBerry’s shares rose more than 6 percent on Monday following a report from the Wall Street Journal that the company was whittling down a list of potential buyers for an acquisition by November. An earlier report said BlackBerry was considering spinning off its BBM service into a separate entity, and that the company was also considering a desktop client. BBM is a popular communication form worldwide, especially in South Africa, where it is the most popular smartphone brand.
A video showcasing a beta version of BBM for Android leaked online earlier this month. International interest in the cross-platform version of BBM is high, as a bogus version of the unreleased Android app delivered adware to more than 100,000 people who unwittingly downloaded it through the Google Play Store before it was taken down.
A recent report states that there are more than 10 million WhatsApp subscribers in South Africa alone, highlighting the popularity of standard text (SMS) alternatives. The new cross-platform BBM service will also compete with Tencent’s WeChat, which is already more popular than Twitter, Skype and Instagram.