by Pardeep Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:41 am
At long last, BlackBerry is making its popular messaging platform, BlackBerry Messenger, cross-platform.
This weekend, the company will release BBM clients for the two rival mobile operating systems to which it has been losing market share for years. On Saturday, BlackBerry will ship BBM for Google’s Android; on Sunday, it will release a second client for Apple’s iOS.
Initially, these BBM for Android and iOS will provide a core feature set. But, as CEO Thorsten Heins said earlier this year, the company intends to flesh it out further in the months that follow. “We’re committed to making the BBM experience on other platforms as fully featured as we can,” Heins said. “We’ll start with messaging and groups, but we’ll add voice later on. … BB10 is such a strong platform that we are confident it can become an independent messaging solution.”
The announcement of BBM clients for Android and iOS comes at a tough time for BlackBerry, which struggles to remain relevant in the market it helped pioneer. Earlier today, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company is gearing up for sweeping layoffs that could affect as much as 40 percent of its workforce.