BlackBerry bringing BBM to Android 2.3 - but still no love for Windows Phone

Back in October, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) made the leap from the company’s own OS and onto iOS and Android. Millions of downloads later, the app is still doing pretty well, with a rating of 4.2 stars (out of a possible five) on Google Play.

But the app requires Android users to have version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or above on their handsets, and while that represents the overwhelming majority of Android users, there remains a significant number who are still using older versions.

Keen to open up BBM to an even wider audience, the company has announced that it is developing a special release of the app for devices running Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread.

That might seem like an odd decision, but Google’s most recent figures reveal that a staggering 21% of Android devices still in use are stuck on Gingerbread. For BlackBerry, that adds up to millions of potential new users for the app.

In a blog post on the company’s site, BlackBerry’s Jeff Gadway, head of product and brand marketing for BBM, said that a beta release for Android 2.3.3 is being prepared, ahead of a full launch in February.

But even after adding 40 million new users to BBM by opening the service to other platforms, there are still no plans to launch an app for Windows Phone and its tens of millions of users. Despite promoting its cross-platform availability under the ‘BBM for All’ banner, BlackBerry’s David Proulx said earlier this month that there was not yet sufficient demand to make developing for Windows Phone worth their while. 

Source: Inside BlackBerry | image via BlackBerry

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macoman said,
Don't understand why, been a platform that already surpassed blackberry in user based and continue to growth.

Still not enough marketshare. It might be bigger than BB but they wouldnt support BB if it wasnt their own product either...

Isn't Microsoft launching certain services on iOS and Android but not BB as well?

They obviously lost a lot users so they jumped and hoped to gain users from iOS and Android users. But that move actually shows how desperate they are. Releasing app to competitor that is unique to BB won't increase their base customer. If some iOS/Android users plans to make a switch before this app was released, now, they don't have any reason to do so since the "app" is made available for them. Brilliant (insert sarcasm here). I'm a Windows Phone user and I don't think I'll be needing the app. There are bunch of decent messaging apps out there like WhatsApp, WeChat, LINE, Kakao Talk, +IM and the list goes on and on.

I'll cue the incoming comments:

Windows Phone is the next big thing. All manufacturers are copying our phone. Our marketshare is growing amazingly fast. We should have 98% marketshare by 2016 once we get a Windows phone in places like Somalia. Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, the Surface, are a match made in heaven.

JHBrown said,
I'll cue the incoming comments:

Windows Phone is the next big thing. All manufacturers are copying our phone. Our marketshare is growing amazingly fast. We should have 98% marketshare by 2016 once we get a Windows phone in places like Somalia. Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, the Surface, are a match made in heaven.

Funny you talk exactly like that in apple threads.

-adrian- said,
Not sure about your continent - in my continent its passed 10% and is just little behind apple

3.5% here in North America, Microsoft's home territory

simrat said,

Funny you talk exactly like that in apple threads.

False. I have never said Apple's marketshare is growing. In fact if you follow my posts you'll notice marketshare means nothing to me. I've never said any manufacturer has copied the iPhone. See where I'm going with this? Try again!

I have yet to read a single criticism against apple from you, on the other hand MS topics are flooding with your negative comments even when there is something positive news. And yet you claim yourself neutral and consumer of both companies.

simrat said,
I have yet to read a single criticism against apple from you
Keywords, "I have yet to read a single criticism against Apple from you." Have you actually read every single one of my post? I've criticized their maps, their iPhone 5C and their Apple TV. In fact, I am very vocal and critical about Apple products as a member of MacRumors.

Sonne said,

3.5% here in North America, Microsoft's home territory

You're mistaking North America for the US, so that's one thing that makes your comment wrong from the start, the second thing is in the US, MS' home market they have 4.3%, I'm also pretty sure their share in Mexico is even higher than that but I don't have a number handy, can't speak for Canada though.

Let's also not forget that the US market isn't the whole market otherwise Apple would still have the #1 smartphone OS but it doesn't.

JHBrown said,
I'll cue the incoming comments:

Windows Phone is the next big thing. All manufacturers are copying our phone. Our marketshare is growing amazingly fast. We should have 98% marketshare by 2016 once we get a Windows phone in places like Somalia. Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, the Surface, are a match made in heaven.

No one says that. It's just your insecurities speaking. Chill out, it's just a phone OS. It's to make your life easier. No need to raise your blood pressure about it.

AsherGZ said,

No one says that. It's just your insecurities speaking. Chill out, it's just a phone OS. It's to make your life easier. No need to raise your blood pressure about it.

Insecurities about a phone? LOL! The only thing that bothers me is when I deploy to the desert for 6 months wondering if I'll ever see my daughter again. In other words, I have bigger things in real life to stress over.

No, you don't understand. I, along with a grand total of 0 friends who still use BBM, am completely devastated they're not coming to WP.

An easy port for them yay

Sorry I have developed a hatred for Blackberry setting and supporting them with their lame server software, I'm glad they are staying away from Windows Phone.

My heart still holds a special place for a Blackberry phone. I remember my first one in 2000. So sad to see what has happened.

By not making it for wp they are sending a message to their shareholders that they think there is still a fight to win (back to 3rd spot) and it also allows them to repeat the phrase "not enough demand"

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