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BlackBerry announces date for BBM on Android, iPhone devices

19 September 2013, 12:29Duncan Alfreds

Cape Town - BlackBerry has announced the date when its popular instant messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) will be available for iPhones and Android powered devices.

The company said that BBM would be available on the Google Play Store for Android phones on 21 September and for iPhones at the App Store on 22 September.

"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," said Andrew Bocking, executive vice president for BBM at BlackBerry.

Some have argued that BlackBerry moved too late on BBM which opened a market gap for third party providers like WhatsApp and WeChat which work across multiple platforms.

It comes at a time that is critical for the Canadian-based company that made smartphones popular in the mass market.

The company may be sold and the speculation is that it will confine itself to producing enterprise security services for mobiles.

Despite the challenges the company faces, it continued to drive market adoption of its BlackBerry 10 operating system and on Wednesday, launched its latest device, the BlackBerry Z30.

The new flagship has a 12.7cm display and is powered by a 1.7GHz processor. It is unclear when the device will be launched in SA.

Regardless of the uncertainty around BlackBerry, BBM continues to be popular, especially as BlackBerry smartphones command a healthy share in developing markets.

The service has around 60 million active monthly users who spend an average of 90 minutes a day using the platform.

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