NEW YORK – Not only did BlackBerry announce a $ 1 billion loss last week, but also the much-anticipated launch of the Android, and iOS versions of its popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service was a complete failure as the company pulled the app at the last minute.
According to reports, the staged rollout of the iOS app was put on hold somewhere around India, whilst the Android version was never released after a leaked version of the official Android.apk decimated BlackBerry’s servers.
Following the iOS launch, the company said on their blog ‘prior to launching BBM for Android, an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app was posted online. The interest and enthusiasm we have seen already – more than 1.1 million active users in the first eight hours without even launching the official Android app – is incredible.’
However, the site went quite for almost 15 hours before the company tweeted, ‘We will provide you an update on timing as soon as we can. Teams are working non-stop. Sign up for launch alerts at BBM.com.’
According to a Wall Street Journal report on Monday, the company will refocus on the enterprise market. However, the move is probably too little, too late as many enterprise users have already switched to competing platforms. Shares of BlackBerry were down more than 2 percent in early trading on Monday.
Meanwhile, the rumors that the next generation iPad will have been helped by comments from retiring Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer. Speaking at a recent conference at the company’s headquarters, Ballmer highlighted for growth areas including Cloud, Social, Mobility, and Big data. While Ballmer did not specifically mention the iPad 5, those in the room said that hints and indications were strong. Microsoft COO Kevin Turner is reported to have said that a key focus area for the company is to bring “Office mobile experience” to iOS and Android platforms. Office apps on iOS and Android devices would help Microsoft’s position as the only company that can provide a seamless multi device platform for enterprise users, and the apps are expected to be highly anticipated when they are finally released.