More reports on: Telecom
BlackBerry to take BBM cross platform news
24 September 2013

BlackBerry is releasing Blackberry Messaging, popularly referred to as BBM, on various operator networks.

With mobile messaging gaining popularity thanks to the likes of WhatsApp, which claims to have 200 million active users, China's WeChat, which claims 190 million and even Kik, which recently logged 50 million users, the smartphone users of the world are moving away from BBM.

BlackBerry has been quick to see the development and decided to piggyback on the market success of iOS and Android.

However, whether this was a smart move for the struggling company was hard to say, but it came with one big risk - BBM remained the central most appealing part of owning a BlackBerry.

So whether consumers would buy a BlackBerry device if they could now get BBM independently was the question for the company to figure out.

According to analysts, BBM continued to be very much a part of the BlackBerry family and with more users downloading BBM, regardless of the device, more users were now exposed to the BlackBerry brand.

Further, Android and iOS users will only have access to BBM's chat function, at least initially, which means other key features of BBM video calls, screen sharing and other options were potentially big moneymakers, if BlackBerry grabbed the opportunity to charge for them.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that BlackBerry had suspended the roll-out of its instant-messaging platform, for users of Apple's iPhone and phones based on Google Android software this weekend as it sought to fix issues with the application.

According to the company, an unofficial version for Android that was posted online was at the root of the problem and had been disabled.

Blackberry had announced last week that it would provide its popular chat application on Android operation system from 21 September and for iPhone users from 22 September.

BlackBerry had said, BBM would be available as a free download for Android smartphones running Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean (Android 4.0 and later version) beginning at 7 AM Eastern Daylight Time on 21 September. 

BBM for iPhones running iOS 6 and iOS 7 would become available for each market on the App Store schedule of 12:01 am local time on 22 September BlackBerry added.

Meanwhile, the struggling smartphone maker, that has lost much of its market share to rivals including  iPhone and phones using Android technology, warned on Friday that it expected to report a huge quarterly operating loss next week and that it would cut over a third of its global workforce.

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BlackBerry to take BBM cross platform