BlackBerry Messenger App BBM For iOS, Android Gets Take Two


BlackBerry's messenger application BBM officially became available for Android and iPhone users beginning Monday, according to a BlackBerry blog post.

Monday's launch comes weeks after the product was expected to hit the market. In late September, BBM tanked due to a leaked version online that millions of users downloaded before BlackBerry could complete its official rollout.

The application, BlackBerry boasted, will give iOS and Android messaging applications a run for their money. Partners have touted a "pent up demand" for BBM, according to BlackBerry, with customers who were disappointed in the miss of the company's first launch.

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"IT folks and the people that make these purchasing decisions have already been let down by the BBM solution once; they don't want to be let down again," said Robby Hill, founder and CEO of Florence, S.C.-based solution provider, HillSouth IT Solutions.

Hill said the failed BBM launch was just one of the recent factors causing partners and customers to lose faith in the sinking company.

Aside from crossing his fingers that, for the Ontario, Canada-based smartphone maker's sake, BBM is not another BlackBerry disaster, Hill said he is confused by how the product coincides with BlackBerry's recent message to partners.

"BlackBerry has announced, as part of restructuring, they are giving up the consumer market, which is great for [BlackBerry] partners if they can stick it out with them," Hill said. "But, BBM is a consumer product at its core."

Though BlackBerry said the application will appear in app stores today, there will be a lag time for most users signing up for the new system. Instead of a quick download, users are prompted to enter an email address to "hold a spot in line," according to the BlackBerry post. Users will be notified by email once they have reached the top of the BBM wait list.

More control over the number of users downloading the application at once could theoretically lessen the chances of server issues that were partially responsible for the first botched BBM release.

"It's a good thing that BlackBerry is finally unveiling a product they promised months ago," Hill said. "I hope they can deliver on this product; I just question their business motivation around it."

A BlackBerry spokesperson said the company, in regards to BBM, is "not commenting on any channel strategy at this time."

Those waiting in virtual line for BBM can track the product's progress through the BBM Twitter page.

PUBLISHED OCT. 21, 2013