BlackBerry's BBM hiccups pull down consumer confidence

BlackBerry's BBM hiccups pull down consumer confidence

Summary: Over the weekend, BlackBerry's long awaited release of BBM for both the Android and iPhone platforms suffered glitches, throwing further obstacles into its own revival.


BlackBerry was forced to suspend the rollout of its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) to iPhone and Android platforms after experiencing glitches.

More bad news for BlackBerry with the latest BBM rollout hiccup.

This was caused by an unreleased version of the BBM for Android which was posted online, according to the company's blog. If there were any good news, it was that there more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours, without even releasing the official Android app. 

Still it is a further blow to BlackBerry's revival hopes following its announcement last week it would be laying off 40 percent of its global workforce--around 4,500 positions, and reporting losses of nearly US$1 billion in the three months to August.

Naturally, the question arises is how can an unreleased app be available and why didn't BlackBerry take more precautions in launching BBM this past weekend, as there has been so much hype around it? Perhaps everyone at BlackBerry is still reeling in over the news released last week.

Still, that's not a valid reason for such an important release for non-BlackBerry users to fail. While the unreleased Android app will be disabled, users who have already downloaded the BBM app for the iPhone will still be able to use it.

BlackBerry says its teams are working non-stop to fix the technical issues, but in light of last week's announcements, perhaps the damage has already been done. Even if the launch went off without any glitches, as planned, users are going to be wary about using BBM for the simple reason of not knowing how long the service will be available for. Again, this goes back to BlackBerry’s survival in the smartphone business.

Clearly, in order to compete and remain competitive against companies such as Apple and Samsung, BBM was made available for different platforms. But from a consumer perspective, the failure of the launch doesn't set the right tone and if anything, will unfortunately drive down consumer confidence.

In my opinion, one the technical issues are resolved, I'm sure people will download BBM, no doubt about it. However, I also feel there might be another group who now simply won’t bother downloading BBM. All in all, it's been a bad week for BlackBerry and things will get even worse this week once official financial reports are released on Friday. 

Topics: Smartphones, BlackBerry

Nitin Puri

About Nitin Puri

Originally from Canada, Nitin has been residing and working in India since 2009. He has worked in different ICT industries in countries such as India, Canada, and Tanzania. He is an avid follower and application developer within the growing mobile phone sector in India.

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  • In Real Life

    In Real life, people don't act like the world is ending when there is a glitch. It seems that Reality TV has made everything out to be the most disastrous thing or the most amazing thing ever.
    John Hanks
  • In Real Life

    In Real life, people don't act like the world is ending when there is a glitch. It seems that Reality TV has made everything out to be the most disastrous thing or the most amazing thing ever.
    John Hanks
  • The failed BBM launch is emblematic of the state of BB as a whole

    Add the BBM to a long list of BB failures that started with their first touch screen device, then to the Play Book, the delay of BB 10 and now this. It's one failure after another that has doomed this company.

    Maybe it was an unreleased version because THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG WITH IT!

    Maybe if people didn't download apps they know aren't official things like this wouldn't happen.

    But no, people like you are just jumping at the chance to make companies look bad when ANYTHING happens, whether it was within their control or not.

    Have a nice day.
    • Still Blackberry's fault

      How did an "unreleased" app make it out of your company? Someone from within had to release it for it to become public. They might be better off selling BBM to maybe Samsung and then use their experience as a hardware manufacturer and build Android devices.
  • impatient people

    Downloading a unauthorized app threw a wrench in the chain & people will still blame BB. He!! I'm going to start blaming my HTC bugs on BB
  • I call bull on bbm

    They reported a loss of 3 million users in March. Their servers should not be at capacity. I think Fairfax Financial said use a minor outage as a reason to stop and figure out a better way to monetize BBM.
  • BBM on iPhone/Android is a LIE...

    Blackberry only announced they were going to release BBM on Android/iPhone so they could increase the valuation of their company right before selling it. They needed to show the purchasing company they have a valuable asset (b/c their phones/software is useless). This really p*ssed me off. I have been a loyal blackberry fan for YEARS (I still even carry a BB phone) and for them to pull this stunt just to increase their valuation makes me want to never deal with them again. Seriously, how can you NOT get a grip on your OWN software and remove the unofficial bbm software release after 1 week?? Is your software team stupid or something? Or why cant you release your Apple version in the mean time?...there were no unofficial software releases of this version.

    Let me tell you why: b/c it is a LIE. It is just a publicity stunt to see how many global people are interested in BBM. Now they can do their calculations (from the recent data gained by using the world as guinea pigs) to make their company more valuable from speculation. As I said already...I love blackberry...but after this bullsh*t they just pulled...I am slowly losing my respect and credibility for them and I may just drop them FOREVER.

    Seriously, from a business perspective, just release your software already and charge everyone $5/month to use it and everyone is happy. I know this is why you did the publicity stunt last week so you can see how much you can charge per month for the software (I am okay with paying a monthly fee for BBM on iPhone)...just don't lie to us with a stupid lame a** story.
    Jason Anthony Prasadio