BlackBerry Launches BlackBerry Messenger on iPhone and Android

| Product News

BlackBerry announced on Monday the launch of its popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service on iPhone and its relaunch on Android. BBM played a big role in the early growth of the BlackBerry platform, and it is now playing a role in BlackBerry's efforts to remain relevant in a highly competitive smartphone industry dominated by Google's Android and Apple's iPhone.

The company made the announcement on its corporate blog, and said that the initial rollout would be limited to the, "millions that took the time to sign up at" ahead of the rollout. Other people will be able to use the service later, and the company said, "we are focused on moving millions of customers through the line as fast as possible."

BBM is a texting/instant messenger service that is similar to Apple's iMessage today. It allows users to text with one another without using cell carrier texting plans, and it also includes video call capabilities like Apple's FaceTime.

BlackBerry initially launched it on Android in September, but that launch collapsed, and BlackBerry had to pull it shortly afterwards. The limited rollout for those who signed up for notifications should make Monday's launch smoother.

A BBM app is available on the App Store as a free download. Here's what it looks like:

BBM on iPhone

BBM Chat, Plus All Your Friends Are Attractive!

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And why would anybody want to use this?

That is a serious question btw. What does it offer besides cross-platform that iMessage doesn’t?


They make a big deal about how it’s more secure but after the last few years I doubt it’s true any more. A fair number of corporate systems are set up for BBs, but with the prevalence of BYOD the number seems to be dwindling. I could see a particular subgroup finding this useful, people that want to connect with friends and co-workers that use BBs but who don’t have one themselves, Honestly that doesn’t seem like a huge number of people.

The idea is, I believe, to make BBM a standard but I think it’s more likely to be a bad move for the company. Why buy a real BB phone when you can just download the free app and make use of the service when you need to without paying BB corporation a cent. Over time I’d expect those that use BBM on Android and iOS, to drift away as their friends and co-workers leave the platform.

With all the talk of BB Corporation getting bought out and broken up, I really don’t expect they will exist by the end of next year. So indeed, why would anyone start using BBM at this point in time.

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