Ahead of the BBM iPhone and Android app releases, BlackBerry has suggested there is scope for the messaging service to be added to Smart TVs in the not too distant future.
Revealing that a BBM Smart TV app is “an area for exploration,” a BlackBerry executive has told TrustedReviews that although it is an area the company is looking into; bringing BBM to location locked devices such as Smart TVs is less of a priority than the targeting of mobile platforms.
“I think when you look at things like Smart TVs and desktops, those are definitely areas for exploration,” Vivek Bhardwaj, the Head of BlackBerry’s Software Portfolio told us. Suggesting a BBM Smart TV app might be some way down the roadmap he added: “They are not a priority for us at this point, mainly because BBM is mobile and that’s really what we want to try and maintain as we build this out.”
Claiming that engagement in BBM on non-mobile devices is a bit of a concern for the company, Bhardwaj stated: “When you start putting it on shared, less dynamic devices such as Smart TVs, the engagement levels drops, the stickiness of it disappears, it loses its appeal and that’s why it is important for us to maintain it as a mobile service.”
Although smartphone devices are a priority, Bhardwaj hinted that BlackBerry will target other mobile opportunities, with the automotive industry seen as a tantalising carrot on a stick to the Canadian firm.
“Our first focus is definitely getting BBM on to other smartphones, and Android and iOS are our top priority,” he said. “I think the automotive industry is one of the really interesting verticals where we want to do this and we have great relationships with auto makers and they are excited. Like any other vertical like that it is a very lengthy process.”
Reaffirming that although a BBM Smart TV app is under consideration it is still some distance down the line, the software head added: “I think the other end of that spectrum [from mobile], where you are looking at larger and shared devices, that is something we will have to evaluate, but right now our focus is definitely Android and iOS later this summer.
Making the announcement during yesterday’s BlackBerry Live Keynote speech, BlackBerry President and CEO Thorsten Heins announced that BBM would leave the BlackBerry platform for the first time in the coming weeks, with BBM iPhone and BBM Android apps to touch down this summer.