It’s finally here. BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has resisted becoming a third party software business for years, but this weekend will finally see the company’s BBM become available on third party devices. BlackBerry Messenger will arrive on Android this coming Saturday, September 21 and iOS on Sunday September 22.
The confirmation of the release date came from BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) itself. The rumor mill, led by a tweet from Samsung Nigeria, expected the service to be launched on Friday. The rumors weren’t off by much, but they were wrong. BBM will arrive on Saturday and Sunday and former BBM aficionados, long kept from their favorite messaging service, will rejoice.
BBM for Android and iOS
An early version of BBM for Android was leaked on the Crackberry forums earlier this week. The software could not be used on the devices, and BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) said that it would not work until the software was officially released, which customers were able to validate online.
BBM will become available for Android versions running Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean, and iOS devices running iOS 6 and iOS 7. That leaves those running older devices out in the cold, though they make up a small part of the market overall. The release of BlackBerry’s premier messaging service on other mobile platforms is demonstrative of the changes at the company.
BBM is one of the many things that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) fans love about the company’s devices. The service had such a following that it was difficult to buy a competing phone and leave BBM behind. That will change this weekend as BlackBerry appears almost ready to wind down its smartphone business.
BlackBerry sale or split
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is on sale at the moment and the company is doing what it can to increase its value to shareholders for when the final bids come in. The company has already begun to reorganize itself so that BBM can stand as a business by itself. That will increase the value of the company to prospective investors. It may also allow the service to be purchased from the company independently from the smartphone business that spawned it.
The Canadian smartphone maker may split up, or it may be sold. BBM, it seems, will live on. Whether on a Z10, an iPhone or the HTC One, users will be able to message under the BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) name. That may not be enough for fans of the company, but it is some kind of legacy.