BBM on Android and iPhone hits 10 million

2013-10-23 11:21
BBM has had a successful launch on Android and iPhone smartphones. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

BBM has had a successful launch on Android and iPhone smartphones. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Early indications are that BlackBerry Messenger's (BBM) adoption with iPhone and Android users has been a hit.

BlackBerry reported on Wednesday that over 10 million people on non-BlackBerry devices had downloaded the messaging service.

"In just 24 hours BBM has been downloaded over 10 million times by Android and iPhone users, one of the best single-day openings for a mobile app to date," the company said.

There are several chat applications available for smartphones, including platforms that are device agnostic like WeChat, WhatsApp and Mxit.

BlackBerry, stung by declining demand for its devices in developed markets, had moved to expand its service offering to iPhone and Android-powered smartphones.

Smartphone growth

"The mobile messaging market is full of opportunity for BBM. We intend to be the leading private social network for everyone who needs the immediate communication and collaboration of instant messaging combined with the privacy, control and reliability delivered through BBM," said Andrew Bocking, executive vice president of BBM at BlackBerry.

BBM for Android powered smartphones and iPhones was meant to be released by 22 September, but many users were not able to access the software and others were exposed to fraudulent applications.

Despite this, users still raced to download the official software on to iPhone and Android phones, potentially expanding the audience of BBM users.

In SA, despite the increasing growth of smartphones, BlackBerry handsets dominate the market, according to independent ad network.

An inMobi survey conducted in 2012 showed that BlackBerry devices command 50% of the smartphone market in SA, followed by Nokia at 25% and Samsung (17%).

In SA, BBM will be available to Samsung devices ahead of the rollout of competing manufacturers.

"The anticipation is high. We are delighted that we are able to offer our loyal customers an advantage to download BBM," said George Ferreira, chief operations officer of Samsung Electronics Africa.

Samsung also has a messaging application and BBM will be incorporated into the messaging hub on Samsung smartphones.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
Read more on:    blackberry  |  mobile

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