Former BlackBerry users who are now on iOS and Android were excited when BlackBerry announced that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) would soon be available for iOS and Android. The messaging app proceeded with its global rollout on Saturday, September 21. After eight hours, those hoping to download the app were unsuccessful as it was nowhere to be found in the App Store and the Play Store.
As it turns out, an unreleased, older version of the BBM for Android app was spotted online. Apart from pre-empting BlackBerryâs launch of the app, the unofficial download also caused data traffic issues. To be specific, the unreleased app demanded abnormally high data traffic orders, causing the entire system to malfunction. This data traffic bug was fixed in the final version of the app, the one that was officially released on the weekend. However, there have been over 1.1 Million downloads of the older, unreleased app. This is a large volume of users of the unreleased app, making BlackBerryâs messaging system still overload in spite of the bug fix.
Since BlackBerry is unable to track and block the users of the older version, BlackBerry saw that the only way to resolve this issue is by pulling out the app from both stores. Once exclusive to BlackBerry, BBM is now catering to a wider audience via reaching out to iOS and Android users.
BlackBerry, formerly Research In Motion (RIM), used to be the top choice among phone users, gaining a global market share of 50% in 2009. This is largely due to the BBM feature, allowing BlackBerry users to send messages to other BlackBerry users for free. The companyâs top selling phone, the BlackBerry Curve, featured a bar phone design with a QWERTY keyboard, the layout of which was copied by other phone manufacturers such as Nokia, Samsung, and HTC, due to its popularity.
By 2013, the once-dominant company dropped to a mere 3% in terms of market share. Today, phone users have made the switch to touch-screen smartphones, giving rise to the iPhone and to Android phones. Similar to BBM, the iPhone has iMessage, enabling free iPhone-to-iPhone messaging via WiFi. There are also free cross-platform messaging apps such as Line, KakaoTalk, Viber, and WhatsApp, all of which allow voice calls and SMS to both iPhone and Android users. BBM for iOS and Android hopes to ease BlackBerry back into the mainstream market as they launch the BlackBerry Z30, their latest attempt to save the company.
âOur teams continue to work around the clock to bring BBM to Android and iPhone, but only when itâs ready and we know it will live up to your expectations of BBM. We are pausing the global rollout of BBM for Android and iPhone. Customers who have already downloaded BBM for iPhone will be able to continue to use BBM. The unreleased Android app will be disabled, and customers who downloaded it should visit www.BBM.com to register for updates on official BBM for Android availability.â