updated 09:15 pm EDT, Tue October 18, 2011
Reps shoot down talk of Android compatibility
Research In Motion has reportedly ruled out the possibility of expanding BlackBerry Messenger service to additional platforms. When pressed by DevCon attendees inquiring about Android support in the future, BlackBerry Developer Program senior director Chris Smith claimed there are "no plans for it." Vice president of developer relations Alec Saunders also claimed he "wasn't aware of it."
The company has yet to provide its own official option for BBM communication across different platforms, though third-party developers have approached the problem. Kik is one of the cross-platform messaging utilities that can be installed on BlackBerries, however RIM later sued the developer for patent infringement and removed the title from the App World.
Some analysts view the lawsuit as an attempt to prevent BlackBerry users from easily switching to Android or iOS. RIM's messaging service is said to be one of the most important features differentiating BlackBerry handsets from competitors, making it difficult for owners to defect without ceasing communication with other BBM contacts. [via CrackBerry]