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BlackBerry refutes June 27 BBM iOS and Android app release

BlackBerry has refuted claims that the recently confirmed BBM iOS and Android apps would be formally released on June 27.

Following a tweet from T-Mobile UK which seemed to confirm a June 27 launch from the BBM service’s first step away from BlackBerry branded handsets, such as the BlackBerry Q10, the Canadian manufacturer has hit back at reports stating “this is not accurate.”

Officially announced at BlackBerry Live last month, BBM iOS and Android apps were confirmed for launch this summer, with the official T-Mobile UK Twitter feed stating: “Great news – BlackBerry Messenger will be available to download on iOS and Android from June 27th!”

Responding to the seemingly official remarks, a BlackBerry spokesperson has stated: “On May 14th, BlackBerry announced plans to make its ground-breaking mobile social network, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), available to iOS and Android users this summer, subject to approval by the Apple App Store and Google Play. While there have been reports that BBM will be available to iOS and Android on June 27th, this is not accurate. We will communicate an update as soon as we have an availability date to share.”

Having ruled out a June 27 arrival, BlackBerry has yet to officially confirm the actual BBM Android and iOS release date.

“It’s time to bring BBM to a greater audience, no matter what mobile device they carry” BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins in unveiling the BBM plans during his BlackBerry Live Keynote. “This summer BBM will go live across multiple platforms.”

BBM will be available on iPhones running iOS 6 and Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich or newer.

BlackBerry did reveal that the iOS BBM app will not be supported on iPads at launch, leaving iPad mini and iPad 4 users without access to the newly Apple-friendly messaging service come June 27.

“Smartphone is our real focus and again it comes back to what BBM is,” said Vivek Bhardwaj, Head of the BlackBerry Software portfolio, to TrustedReviews during BlackBerry Live. “If you look at BBM and the engagement and the activity, it’s because it is mobile, because people are on the go.”

iPad compatibility with the BBM app could come with time, but BlackBerry has confirmed that smartphones are its priority right now.

“When you start looking at tablets, computers and other screens, the usage model changes and behaviour changes. For us right now the absolute focus is getting BBM onto smartphones,” Bhardwaj added.

The arrival of BBM on Android and iOS means BlackBerry’s messaging service will compete with the likes of WhatsApp, iMessage and Google Hangouts for messaging superiority.

Next, read our review of the BlackBerry Z10.