Mumbai September 22, 2013( updated 1800 hrs IST) In a watershed decision for wireless mailing platform pioneer, BlackBerry, the flagship messaging network BBM - will become available for Android and iPhone customers. Previously exclusive to BlackBerry smartphones, BBM was announced to be available yesterday as a free download in Google Play and the App Store. Customers will be able to download BBM by visiting www.BBM.com from their smartphone browser. However at the last minute, Blackberry decided to defer the availability to a region-wise staggered release.
Said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President for BBM at BlackBerry: “With more than a billion Android, iOS, and BlackBerry smartphones in the market, and no dominant mobile messaging platform, this is absolutely the right time to bring BBM to Android and iPhone customers.”
BBM has some features that competitors never could provide. It gives you a private social network for active, real conversations. BBM is always on so you are always connected. And because messages on BBM are typically delivered and read within seconds, it’s the closest thing to a live conversation. BBM always tells you that messages are delivered and read. BBM conversations come alive on a private network you can count on. BBM allows you to choose your contacts and how you share your information. BBM uses a PIN so you don’t have to give anyone your phone number or email address.
A global leader in wireless innovation, based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry revolutionized the mobile industry when it was introduced in 1999. To own a Blackberry was a status symbol and a fashion statement for the connected professional -- it ensured a premium, secure and private messaging service. But in recent months it has seen its user base erode under the onslaught of competing smart phones like Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy.
On September 20, Blackberry warned of a big loss in the last quarter and possible job cuts estimated to be around 4000. By giving away its crown jewel -- BBM -- so to speak the parent company which used to be known as Research in Motion, may have signaled the beginning of its end -- or of a new avatar. We have to wait and see.