BlackBerry runs to catch up on BBM promises

After weeks of delays, BlackBerry chief marketing officer Frank Boulben say that he expects BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for Android and iPhone to launch within days.

Speaking to Reuters, Boulben said that he expects BBM to launch on Android and iPhone “within days”, adding that the company is confident that it fixed issues that arose after the initial cross-platform launch of the messaging service last month.

Boulben said the BlackBerry already has 6 million Android and iPhone customers pre-registered for the launch of its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service.

BlackBerry initially planned to launch BBM for Android and iPhone on 21 September and 22 September, but was delayed after an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app was posted online, which has caused issues.

On 23 September, head of BBM, Andrew Bocking explained that “this older version resulted in volumes of data traffic orders of magnitude higher than normal for each active user and impacted the system in abnormal ways.”

He said that BlackBerry was aware of an issue with this unreleased version of the BBM for Android app.

“The version we were planning to release addressed these issues, however we could not block users of the unreleased version if we went ahead with the launch,” said Bocking,

He said that the BBM team focused their energy on adjusting the system to completely block this unreleased version of the Android app when they go live with the official BBM for Android app.

“We are also making sure that the system is reinforced to handle this kind of scenario in the future. While this may sound like a simple task – it’s not,” he said.

The roll out of BBM to other competing platforms has been one of the biggest moves at the company which has been hard-hit by dwindling users, sales and investor enthusiasm.

On Monday (14 October), the struggling phone-maker sought to reassure its restive customers and partners that it was financially stable and “here to stay,” even though it announced massive layoffs and sources say it is in talks to sell all or part of the company.

BlackBerry’s products have struggled to compete against the likes of Apple Inc‘s iPhone and the numerous devices powered by Google‘s Android operating system.

A new line of smartphones that run on the BlackBerry 10 operating system has also failed to re-ignite sales, prompting the company last month to announce that it would slash its global workforce by more than a third.

In September, the company, which was once Canada’s premium brand, posted close to a $1 billion dollar loss for the quarter, underlined by dismal sales of its BlackBerry 10 range, according to Reuters.

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BlackBerry runs to catch up on BBM promises