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By 23 September 2013 | Categories: news

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BlackBerry’s popular BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) service will be holding onto its exclusivity tag a little longer, after the company hit the pause button on its efforts to bring the service to Google Play and Apple’s App Store over the course of the weekend.

The Canadian firm started to rollout BBM for the iPhone as promised yesterday, but the 21 September kickoff for the availability of BBM for Android came and went. According to BlackBerry, an unreleased version of the BBM for Android application was posted online before the expected launch of its official app. This unreleased version caused various issues that the company is currently addressing.

Consequently, BlackBerry hit the pause button on the global rollout of BBM for Android as well as BBM for iPhone. The company added that customers who have already downloaded the BBM for iPhone app will be allowed to keep on using BBM, but the application is no longer available for download from the App Store. The as yet unreleased Android version of the application has been disabled.  

Final word

Despite the availability of a wealth of rival IM (instant messaging) apps the likes of WhatsApp and WeChat, BBM remains highly popular with local users. It has also seen an enthusiastic uptake overseas in places such as Australia and New Zealand, where the iPhone version of the application went live on the App Store yesterday. BlackBerry revealed that the app had more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours, without the official Android app even being launched.

“Our teams continue to work around the clock to bring BBM to Android and iPhone, but only when it’s ready and we know it will live up to your expectations of BBM,” a post on the official BlackBerry blog - Inside BlackBerry - read. “As soon as we are able, we will begin a staggered country rollout of BBM for Android and continue the rollout of BBM for iPhone.”

Things are currently very topsy turvy in BlackBerry land with the company also having recently revealed a humongous operating loss of of between $950 million and $995 million for its fiscal Q2 2014.  This has prompted the company to adopt a few additional restructuring plans including the reduction of its workforce by 4500 employees, as well as the reduction of its planned smartphone portfolio for 2013 from 6 to 4 devices.

In related news from the mobile industry, check out our latest smartphone news roundup here

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