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What’s up With BBM for Android and iPhone?

Lengthy delays met the launch of the BlackBerry Messenger app (BBM), but it’s now in full swing having had numerous app updates.  After falling behind Android, iOS and Windows in the race to be top dog in the smartphone market, here’s what’s what with BBM and how it can be used across other smartphone operating systems.  

Having BBM for iPhone or Android could greatly enhance the user experience, giving them the freedom to use their favoured device and still take advantage of one of the slickest messaging systems out there. Unfortunately, the delays in getting to market seem to have been almost fatal as other competitors have raced ahead of the game.

What does BBM for iPhone and Android cost?

No-one was quite certain how BlackBerry would make money on the app.  They could have assigned a purchase price, allowed in-app advertising or even premium services within the app. But while there are some business add-ons that are charged, the app is wholly free.

A fake BBM app fooled over 100,000 consumers

A fake “BBM for Android” app showed up on Google Play in early June 2012, and was downloaded by over a hundred thousand users before it was pulled. The app simply showed a screen claiming that it would start to work on June 27th 2012 (the original date that BlackBerry had promised the launch) and of course was never delivered.

The fake app was only successful because BlackBerry fell down on delivering their official app on time. This only went further to harm the reputation of the once great Blackberry brand.

Alternatives to BBM for iPhone and Android

As aforementioned, being first to market is often crucial in the telecommunications world and Blackberry missed a trick here.  So many other apps exist with a similar feel.  Granted, BBM is an excellent app with some really cool features at high performance but the reality is that it just has not become synonymous with the everyday smartphone user.  Business users have embraced it somewhat but the market potential is far greater than that.  Competitors like Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, PingMe and many more have made it quite the harsh reality for BBM… It’s going to have to be quite spectacular to win over the majority of iPhone and Android users who have been managing without it for years. 

Oh well… for the average consumer all this competition is great news.  It keeps feature based development soaring, resulting in some absolutely great apps, whilst prices stay at rock bottom. 

Long may it continue!

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