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iOS BBM app will not support iPad at launch

With a summer iOS BBM app release having been confirmed, BlackBerry has revealed that the Apple friendly messaging application will not be available to iPad owners.

Leaving iPad mini and iPad 4 users out in the cold, the iOS BBM app will launch for iPhone owners only, with the smartphone centric application also set  to miss out on Android tablets such as the Google Nexus 7, with the company targeting smartphone users first.

“At this point it is iOS and Android, and that’s iOS phones running iOS 6 and higher,” Vivek Bhardwaj, Head of the BlackBerry Software Portfolio said.

Speaking directly with TrustedReviews during BlackBerry Live, he added: “Smartphone is our real focus and again it comes back to what BBM is. If you look BBM and the engagement and the activity, it’s because it is mobile, because people are on the go.”

Although not ruling out a potential BBM iPad app in the near future, Bhardwaj has suggested that tablet users could face a bit of a wait, with BlackBerry seeing the oversized devices as a difficult nut to crack in terms of the mobile messaging sector.

Explaining the company’s decision to avoid iPad and other tablets in order to focus the BBM app launch on smartphone devices, he stated: “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.”

Earlier this week BlackBerry President and CEO Thorsten Heins revealed BBM would break away from BlackBerry branded handsets for the first time in the coming weeks, with separate BBM iOS and BBM Android apps to launch this summer.

While smartphones are the focus for the first phase of BBM app rollouts, Bhardwaj has hinted that eventually the messaging service could be rolled out across all manner of connected devices, with the automotive industry and even Smart TVs two areas currently being explored.

“I think when you look at things like Smart TVs and desktops, those are definitely areas for exploration,” the BlackBerry software head told us.

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