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BlackBerry Delays Launch of BBM Apps For iOS, Android

timothy posted 1 year,9 days | from the we-can't-all-be-perfect dept.

Bug 54

USA Today reports: "BlackBerry on Saturday hit pause on the rollout of iPhone and Android apps for its popular BlackBerry Messenger mobile social messaging service after an unreleased version of the Android app was posted online. That version saw 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours, the company said, but the unofficial version "caused issues," which the company continued to address throughout the day. The company did not specify what the issues were."

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At least it's a business plan (4, Insightful)

hessian (467078) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916085)

Transitioning from hardware/software company to software company making products for former competitor's hardware is at least a business plan, which is more than RIM has had for years.

Re:At least it's a business plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44916107)

If by business plan you mean to follow the plan of mostly destroying your company by releasing hardware 2 years late. then making a complete bollocks of releasing what's left that's worth saving, vis a vis BBM, yeah it's a plan...

But at least they're consistent.

Re:At least it's a business plan (1, Redundant)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916143)

He didn't say it was a good plan.

Re:At least it's a business plan (4, Insightful)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916175)

If by business plan you mean to follow the plan of mostly destroying your company by releasing hardware 2 years late. then making a complete bollocks of releasing what's left that's worth saving, vis a vis BBM, yeah it's a plan...

But at least they're consistent.

No they have two more thing of value that everyone else in the mobile world would pay through the nose for;

1. Patents lots and lots of patent on smart phones and mobile devices.
2. They also have a brand recognition and reputation in the corporate/government world that any company would love to have.

Whoever ends up buying the blackberry name will when the enterprise game. I look for a bidding war in the next year between Microsoft Google Apple and possible Samsung over Blackberry's patent profile and the trademark. Whoever gets the name will probably use it as their branding for their enterprise line of phones, and whoever gets the patent will have a war chest that they will be able to brow beat the competition into submission with.

Re:At least it's a business plan (2)

SeaFox (739806) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916221)

Whoever ends up buying the blackberry name will when the enterprise game.

The enterprise game has already started. It's a matter of how they'll make use of the Blackberry name, not when.

Re:At least it's a business plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44916233)

It would be a very smart buy for Microsoft and considering they are sitting on 77 billion in cash they could easily do it.

Add BB to their Nokia purchase and they would become a real force to be reckoned with in the SmatPhone market.

As long as they get rid of Balmer of course :)

Re:At least it's a business plan (1)

distilate (1037896) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916271)

It would be a very smart buy for Microsoft and considering they are sitting on 77 billion in cash they could easily do it.

Add BB to their Nokia purchase and they would become a real force to be reckoned with in the SmatPhone market.

As long as they get rid of Balmer of course :)

Buying more crap will do nothing. Sure they get the patents but without a decent product they won't make a profit.

Re:At least it's a business plan (1, Interesting)

davester666 (731373) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916551)

> 2. They also have a brand recognition and reputation in the corporate/government world that any company would love to have.

Except for the most die-hard, must control absolutely everything, BB has been losing share to iOS and Android for quite some time. And the Playbook and BBOS10, they shot their reputation for quality in the foot. Mediocre hardware, with a slow, buggy OS slapped on it, that clearly was incomplete and not ready for general use when it shipped [but which they had to ship, just to have something less than 3 years old in the marketplace].

They still have the market for people that demand a physical keyboard cornered. Unfortunately, that is only a couple of percentage of the smartphone market, and shrinking daily.

Given that they've been actively shopping BB for months, and that it's been in the same position as Palm was for more than a year, and NOBODY has made any real effort to acquire it [well, an ex-CEO is trying to buy it and take it private, but that's going to be a hard sell, unless he is just going to flip it], BB's patents don't seem to be making anyone drool, and BES isn't going to do it [as IT really doesn't want to run a parallel email system to Exchange, which most, including BB's new phones, can directly connect to].

And BBM isn't growing, as there are things like unlimited SMS, twitter, facebook, besides other messaging services, which also support strong encryption. If anything BBM is a little like Microsoft Office. It's why people chose BB devices awhile ago, but it hasn't transitioned well to the latest devices, and there are now a bunch of competing services that work more than good enough, for free, to make people want to pay extra to use this service, just to communicate with fewer and fewer people. And kudos to BB, for successfully botching their "launch" of BBM on iOS and Android this weekend. They are true masters of ineptitude.

Re:At least it's a business plan (1)

narcc (412956) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916967)

with a slow, buggy OS slapped on it

Haha!

No.

Re:At least it's a business plan (1)

dnaumov (453672) | 1 year,9 days | (#44917463)

Haha!

Yes.

http://blackberryq10.tumblr.com/ [tumblr.com]

Re:At least it's a business plan (1)

Xiaran (836924) | 1 year,9 days | (#44919057)

I think the confusino is that none of that shit is the OS. It all looks like the user land of the OS. My udnerstanding is that BBOS10 is QNX Neutrino at the core... that OS is rock solid(former QNX system developer here). It's one of the most stables OSes around... makes Linux./BSD look like DOS is some regards.

Re:At least it's a business plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44921543)

Well, to be fair, i OS doesn't let you position the cursor in the middle of the word, so if you make a mistake (or it autocorrected to almost the right word), you have to delete the whole word and retype it.

Captcha: Precise

Re:At least it's a business plan (1)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,9 days | (#44917383)

They still have the market for people that demand a physical keyboard cornered. Unfortunately, that is only a couple of percentage of the smartphone market, and shrinking daily.

Don't know about that. BlackBerry remains shockingly popular among teens and twenty somethings that primarily use their phone for social networking (i.e. typing). The phone is still well respected among them and given that BlackBerry doesn't even market to them or include good features for them, that says something. I don't know if BlackBerry can stomach being the phone for teenage girls but I think they could win that market.

Re:At least it's a business plan (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | 1 year,9 days | (#44917465)

My guess is that's only the ones that haven't discovered Swype or similar keyboards. The text entry speed is incredible.

Re:At least it's a business plan (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | 1 year,9 days | (#44918269)

Actually Dave they don't even have the physical keyboard market cornered anymore, as LG has been shipping slider phones with android for quite some time. Its very popular, at least around here and I ended up getting one as I hate texting using an on screen UI and I have to say they...are quite nice, my thumbs fit perfectly and the Android OS runs well.

Lets face it BB is dead. Its over, stick a fork, the fat lady has not only sung she is down the street having a sammich. it will end up getting bought by a troll for the patents. Much like Nokia and Palm they simply sat on ass for too long and the market passed them by, they simply won't be able to catch up.

Re:At least it's a business plan (1)

iONiUM (530420) | 1 year,9 days | (#44917041)

Well, you're not incorrect technically, but haven't you wondered why everyone is so afraid of buying them?

Blackberry's assets [financialpost.com] are far beyond their current $4.5 billion market cap [google.ca] , so technically if you sold all their pieces you'd get more than what you'd pay in stock for the company.

The reason nobody is buying them is because they are losing $1 billion per quarter [financialpost.com] , and it would cost almost $2 billion to shutdown the hardware manufacturing unit. So let's say you pay $5 billion for the company, and you sell off all the assets (but you'll be at least another 2 quarters in by then), so now you've got another 2 quarters of $1 bln losses, and you've gotta shut down the manufacturing unit, and find buyers for the rest (assuming you want to sell). The deal isn't looking so great now, and it's got a lot of overhead (the Canadian gov't who is protecting them rather fiercely).

Re:At least it's a business plan (1)

LittleBigScript (618162) | 1 year,9 days | (#44917895)

What is the point of brand recognition when they are being outsold in the market?

Re:At least it's a business plan (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | 1 year,9 days | (#44918237)

Bullshit, the reason why BB is on the ropes is they no longer HAVE the enterprise customers, BYOD killed BB dead and all those PHBs that had to have a crackberry now have an iPhone or Android.

Lets face it the only ones that would be interested in buying BB is patent trolls and the big three who could use those patents against the competition. Since MSFT gets paid for every android sold thanks to patents my money would be on them buying it but it sure won't be for the customers, it'll be for the patents.

Re:At least it's a business plan (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | 1 year,9 days | (#44920427)

Bullshit, the reason why BB is on the ropes is they no longer HAVE the enterprise customers, BYOD killed BB dead and all those PHBs that had to have a crackberry now have an iPhone or Android.

Lets face it the only ones that would be interested in buying BB is patent trolls and the big three who could use those patents against the competition. Since MSFT gets paid for every android sold thanks to patents my money would be on them buying it but it sure won't be for the customers, it'll be for the patents.

BYOD is nothing but a time bomb waiting to happen. I a bring your own device environment there is nothing to the IT department can do to insure security every device allowed in not configured the the company IT department is another potential back-door into the companies network. I am just waiting to see the explosion that happens when there is a massive leak of customer data and it is tracked back to a BYOD policy.

The problem is Average Joe User is a ignorant moron that click OK to every prompt and installs everything with the word free in it. Average Joe actual does believe every Nigerian prince, installs every "Fr33!!!! fonts and 1337 Smiliez pack!!!!.exe, and would find nothing suspicious in nor have problem executing a file named;

~TILDE/PUB/CIA-BIN/ETC/INIT.DLL?FILE=__AUTOEXEC.BAT.MY%20OSX%20DOCUMENTS-INSTALL.EXE.RAR.INI.TAR.DOÇX.PHPHPHP.XHTML.TML.XTL.TXXT.0DAY.HACK.ERS_(1995)_BLURAY_CAM-XVID.EXE.TAR.[SCR].LISP.MSI.LNK.ZDA.GNN.WRBT.OBJ.O.H.SWF.DPKG.APP.ZIP.TAR.TAR.CO.GZ.A.OUT.EXE.

That is why the a good IT department locks down the living hell out of every pc on their network. Allowing average joe to a have access to sensitive data on unsecured untrusted easily compromised systems is a bad bad idea. The PHB's will in a while see that there short sided idea of BYOD saving money will cost them painfully, and will eventually look to fix the problem and remember centrally administered black berries didn't have these problems.

Re:At least it's a business plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44920331)

2. They also have a brand recognition and reputation in the corporate/government world that any company would love to have.

They are falling pretty fast. I doubt this is even true anymore.

Re:At least it's a business plan (1)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,9 days | (#44917375)

They had a business plan. Create a phone that was better than Android and iOS for their existing base. They sort of failed but they had a plan.

link to apk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44916095)

please link to apk i wanna try this before BB goes tits up

Re:link to apk? (0, Redundant)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916149)

I don't think you can package a time machine in an apk.

Re: link to apk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44916257)

My Android version stopped working like 10 hours ago... RIM have pulled the plug on the Android version pending when they solve their "certain issues"

Re: link to apk? (1)

Victor Olorunfemi (3160479) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916263)

My Android version stopped working like 10 hours ago... RIM have pulled the plug on the Android version pending when they solve their "caused issues"

Re:link to apk? (1)

bobthesungeek76036 (2697689) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916241)

go to XDA and search for BBM-release.apk

Apps apped (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44916099)

BlackBerry apps apps because they were apped by appers apping apps.

App.

Dead man tries to walk, trips and falls... (1, Interesting)

david.emery (127135) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916125)

The one part of Blackberry's business that might be attractive to an outside buyer is its secure email hosting. If they can't even get that right with iOS & Android apps, what's left? Truly this is a zombie company with both of its arms falling off. The demise of BB hardware could be blamed in part to 'market forces,' but BB has no one to blame for the failure of its software developers and managers.

Re:Dead man tries to walk, trips and falls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44916229)

says the apple employee

Re:Dead man tries to walk, trips and falls... (1)

Roy Song (3160205) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916269)

there are have already got a lot of similar apps, what is BBM's lightpoint

Re:Dead man tries to walk, trips and falls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44917261)

Blackberry MESSENGER you fuckwit.

No it isn't (1)

brunes69 (86786) | 1 year,9 days | (#44917735)

Secure email hosting is not worth anyone buying because so many other competitors can do it. It's not rocket science to run an IMAP or Exchange server.

The one piece of IP BLackberry has that someone is going to buy and roll out as a going concern is their Mobile Device Management platform, Blackberry Fusion. Not a lot of people know this exists because it is not a piece of consumer-facing technology, but Blackberry has a very excellent cross-device MDM platform that can manage and provision Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, and Blackberry all from one piece of software. And to boot, on the phones it is all containerized, which what both consumers and companies want now. I think they are the only ones who have this as well.

Unspecified issues (0)

grasshoppa (657393) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916137)

The unspecified issues is that their infrastructure can't handle that many users.

Don't forget to tip your waiter!

Re:Unspecified issues (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916307)

Which is really the reminder BB doesn't need right now that their fancy secret sauce layer (while essential back when they were cramming actually-workable email into dumbphone specs, and still arguably superior to other vendors' fancy secret sauce layers), is just another thing to pay a monthly fee for, forever, and occasionally incur outages because of.

In a world where your phone can just talk to the mail/XMPP/whatever server like the real computer that it is, having a fancy extra transmogrification layer isn't necessarily a virtue. There's still a strong argument to be made if you need to integrate a bunch of Android/iOS handsets into a legacy BES system, or if the client adds some of the lockdown knobs that people feel safer being able to twiddle (though, on iOS, Apple tightly controls what knobs 3rd party vendors can touch, so all management systems are more and lessy sucky interfaces on top of the same set of options. Android is much less predictable; but if you demand the right rights at install time you could offer a genuinely differentiated management product); but otherwise it's a much harder sell.

Re:Unspecified issues (2)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,9 days | (#44917977)

On iOS you have iCloud
On Android you have Google services
Everyone is doing MDM

There is plenty of play for that intermediate layer. I can easily see a 2013 version of BES being an amazing feature that people would flock to the phone for. The problem is BlackBerry doesn't have that. They have a 2005 version of BES slightly updated.

unofficial version "caused issues," (1)

Chrisq (894406) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916183)

Maybe it didn't have the NSA/GCHQ backdoor

Re: unofficial version "caused issues," (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44916603)

I'm pretty sure the backdoor is in the servers, not the app.

go47 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44916245)

they learn from our priv4te sex party USENET IS ROUGHLY

Too late.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44916351)

Let see..
1. BBM. ---> Hangouts, Kakao, Line, What'sapp,..
2. Enterprise collaboration --> Google Enterprise, MS Exchange/IIS, SAP, ERP, IBM Websphere,...
3. Secure Mail --> Most of Enterprise already implement SSL, VPN, IPSec, Custom Encryption (if you paid them)...
4. Secure Infrastructure --> Knows any modern mobile CPU that haven't got DRM function??
5. SecureOS --> Does sandboxed-VM appeals to you? You most probably already runs those on your phone.
6. IP Portfolio's --> How many would stand at the Court test? And how many would be deemed "too similar" to be enforce-able?

It's terrible when your CEO couldn't see what coming after them. I feels pity that the regular guys at BB/RIM that's paying the price for their leader incompetence.

BTW, should BB/RIM sold out to others, let see how many golden parachute the ex-BB/RIM CEO's would get..
(Just like Nokia Elop's)

If BBM is so popular... (1)

tlambert (566799) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916517)

If BBM is so popular... why are they laying off 4,000 people?

Re:If BBM is so popular... (1)

Barsteward (969998) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916641)

they don't need 4000 people to support BBM??

Re:If BBM is so popular... (1)

tlambert (566799) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916711)

they don't need 4000 people to support BBM??

It must not be that popular, then. If a billion people were using it, like iOS, they'd likely need more than 4,000 people to support it.

Re:If BBM is so popular... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44916733)

They had 20,000 employees a few years ago. How many does Google or Apple have? Hint, a lot fewer. Even at ~ 10,000 after the cuts, they are a really big company that essentially makes 1 product now.

Re:If BBM is so popular... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44917361)

They had 20,000 employees a few years ago. How many does Google or Apple have? Hint, a lot fewer.

Really? Google and Apple have fewer than 20,000 employees? Thats not true at all. In fact it is easy to prove that the above statement is utterly false. A simple wikipedia look up would show you that, as of March 2013, Google employs nearly 45,000 people and Apple employs 80,000. Meanwhile BlackBerry/RIMM had 12,700 back in March, before this recent layoff will go into effect.

You don't have to take wikipedia's word for it though. For a publicly traded company this information is available in the respective company's 10-K filings with the SEC. In Google's 2012 10-K filing they reported 53,861 employees with 19,746 in R&D. In Apple's 2012 10-K filing they reported 72,800 employees and 3300 temps and contractors (Apple did not provide an R&D headcount). In BlackBerry/RIMM's 2012 10-K they listed 16,500 employees with 6100 of those employees in R&D. New 10-K filings should be pubic next month and I would imagine that those numbers are going to be closer to what is listed in wikipedia.

In short, last year Google had more R&D staffing than Blackberry/RIMM in total headcount (Administrative, Sales, Marketing, IT, and R&D). Apple was over 4x the size of BlackBerry last year, and if the numbers on wikipedia are accurate, Apple will be nearly 10x the size of BlackBerry/RIMM when this round of layoffs are over.

I still find it amazing that with the information we have available at our fingertips, people still just make stuff like this up on the fly without any fact checking whatsoever.

Re:If BBM is so popular... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44918177)

Does eBay have 4,000 sysadmins?

Re:If BBM is so popular... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44917091)

If BBM is so popular... why are they laying off 4,000 people?

Damn good question. After all, don't all cell phone companies base 95% of their revenue off their cellular chat program? I thought they all did.

Surprise Surprise (2)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916851)

They wonder why they have to lay 4500 people off. This is exactly how Blackberry works, they set a deadline and then miss it completely.

Seppuku (1)

Happy Finish (722598) | 1 year,9 days | (#44916927)

I must say, it's noble of RIM to give their existing customers a better way of smoothly transitioning from their existing platform to Android or iOS.

Re:Seppuku (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44917001)

I must say, it's noble of RIM to give their existing customers a better way of smoothly transitioning from their existing platform to Android or iOS.

LOL - didn't even think of that. So I guess I've been misunderstanding their noble and well intended cause of RIM.

Sabotage? (4, Interesting)

Espectr0 (577637) | 1 year,9 days | (#44917833)

The conspiracy theorist ideas inside me tell me sabotage may be involved. I don't buy that a beta version caused server issues that prompted to halt the rollout.

40% of the company was canned.

The ios version (which i got by creating an Australia account) also had issues with connecting, which is expected. I don't think Blackberry was ready for this.

Way to go with the old customers Blackberry (1)

methamorph (950510) | 1 year,9 days | (#44918421)

So if you have an android or an iPhone you get BB messenger for free but if you have an actual blackberry device without BB data plan then no BB messenger for you.
Way to go with the old customers Blackberry.
The least you could do was allow BB messenger without BB data plan.

Re:Way to go with the old customers Blackberry (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44920355)

They weren't aware of you.

Re:Way to go with the old customers Blackberry (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#44923863)

Except this isnt the case.
BB doesnt offer/require new data plans (BIS) for their new phones/OS
That is only needed for the older OS phones. This wont change for pre BB10 devices.
The newer BB10 phones have all the regular connectivity integrated you would find in any other phone off the shelf.

"Issues" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44918451)

.. they found the NSA backdoors weren't working as intended.

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