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BBM Rolling With 10 Million Downloads in 24 Hours


BBM’s Successful Launch Points Out A Survival Route For BlackBerry

This is the news you’ve been waiting for! I am thrilled to tell you that we are about to officially resume our rollout of BBM for Android and iPhone customers around the globe!* In the next few hours, people will start seeing BBM in Google Play, the App Store and in select Samsung App Stores – where it will be free to download.

BlackBerry had 10 million downloads in twenty-four hours. Now that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is available on iOS and Android, the walled garden is down and everyone is pouring in to pick up one of BlackBerry’s signature technologies. If BlackBerry wants a signpost to a way forward that’s good for the business and ensures they stay relevant over the next few years, BBM has handed it to them.

Until now, if you wanted to be on BBM, you had to purchase a BlackBerry

BBM Blackberry Messenger_IOS_Android at GmaNsWolD.com

BBM Blackberry Messenger_IOS_Android at GmaNsWolD.com

device. While smartphones were still regarded as ‘phones with a bit more’ it was a simple decision to buy one. But the last five years have seen smartphones morph into ‘very small but fully capable computers’ and not every manufacturer managed to stay on top of that change. Nokia stayed with Symbian for too long, and by the time they changed to a modern OS (in Windows Phone) Android and iOS were too far ahead to be caught.

To help manage this unprecedented pent-up demand for BBM, we are implementing a simple line-up system to ensure a smooth roll out. Here’s how it is going to work…

BlackBerry has struggled to make the jump to a modern smart phone, and it took until early this year to launch their vision in the Z10.

While the exact sales numbers for BlackBerry devices running the BB10 OS are not available, many analysts expect them to be around the 5 million mark with a following wind. Twice that number have shown an interest in BBM in twenty-four hours.

And BlackBerry is not finished with the app, as Andrew Bocking, BlackBerry EVP writes:

“We committed to delivering a BBM experience on iPhone and Android that was equal to that on BlackBerry 10. That means bringing BBM Video, BBM Voice and BBM Channels to Android and iPhone customers too. My team is still committed to bringing those features to BBM on Android and iPhone in the near future.”

Perhaps the only sad note to the success of the BBM app this week is the realisation that BlackBerry has come into this game too late to be earth shattering. Ten million users (assuming they all stay) is a big number, and one that could be built on, but the rise of clients such as WhatsApp Messenger (currently quoting 300 million active users across multiple mobile platforms) are a reminder of what could have been for BlackBerry. If they had opened up their service to a wider audience two years ago as former CEO Jim Balsillie argued for, instead of waiting for BB10 to be finished and placed in a rather standard smartphone chassis (the Z10), BlackBerry could have established themselves as the cross-platform mobile messaging system of choice.

That’s not an option for them in the near future, but with focus and dedication (and an attitude about serving the user first, and not serving the BB10 platform before iOS and Android), they have a chance to become part of the mobile infrastructure once more, without the extra cost of building and maintaining an alternative operating system or mobile hardware.

BBM is a little beacon of success in the middle of some turbulent times for the Canadian company. Hopefully BBM will continue to receive investment and attention so it can build on a successful launch and keep BlackBerry relevant in the smart phone world.

Forbes

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