BlackBerry to offer BBM to Windows Phone and Nokia X platforms

Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:25pm IST

A Blackberry logo is seen at the Blackberry campus in Waterloo, September 23, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/Files

A Blackberry logo is seen at the Blackberry campus in Waterloo, September 23, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mark Blinch/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   
Inside the Peshawar school

Inside the Peshawar school

The aftermath inside the Pakistan school where at least 132 students and nine staff members were killed by Taliban gunmen.  Pictures 

REUTERS - BlackBerry Ltd (BB.TO) (BBRY.O) will make its BBM messaging tool available to Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) Windows Phone and the upcoming Nokia X platforms in the coming months in a move to widen the user base, the smartphone maker said on Monday.

The announcement, coupled with a report that auto maker Ford Motor Co (F.N) plans to base its next-generation Sync system on BlackBerry's QNX operating system and no longer use Microsoft's Windows platform, helped send shares of BlackBerry up 8 percent in midday trading.

Bloomberg said using QNX would be cheaper than licensing Microsoft technology and would improve the flexibility and speed of the next Sync system. The report cited sources briefed on the matter who requested anonymity because the decision was not public.

BlackBerry and Ford declined to comment on the report.

Shares of BlackBerry rose 8.4 percent to $9.91 on Nasdaq following the news on Monday. Its Toronto-listed shares rose 7.7 percent to C$10.95.

Reaching a deal with Ford would be a coup for BlackBerry, which is trying to reinvent itself as more of a software and services company after its smartphones have lost market share to Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPhone and a slew of devices powered by Google Inc's (GOOG.O) market-dominating Android platform.

Still, its BBM offering remains popular. Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry opened the service to the Android and iOS platforms late last year, and the number of active users has increased to more than 80 million.

BBM, or BlackBerry Messaging, offers collaboration tools such as BBM Groups, BBM Voice and BBM Channels and competes with services such as WhatsApp, which Facebook (FB.O) said last week it would buy for $19 billion.

BBM will be available as a free download from the Windows Phone Store this summer, while BBM for Nokia X will be available from the Nokia Store when the Nokia X platform launches, BlackBerry said in a statement on Monday.

BBM was a pioneering mobile-messaging service, but its user base has failed to keep pace with those of WhatsApp and other rivals, in part because BlackBerry had long refused to open the program to users on other platforms.

WhatsApp, with a user base of about 450 million, has grown rapidly. Its service works with iOS, Android and devices powered by the Windows and BlackBerry platforms.

(Reporting by Varun Aggarwal in Bangalore and Euan Rocha in Toronto; Editing by Supriya Kurane, Jeffrey Hodgson and Lisa Von Ahn)

FILED UNDER:

Economic Pulse

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Hope for SpiceJet

Hope for SpiceJet

Former SpiceJet owner leading rescue plan: reports.  Full Article 

Oil Prices

Oil Prices

Oil rallies above $60, heads for 4th weekly decline on glut.  Full Article 

New Airline

New Airline

Tata, Singapore Air venture Vistara to take off on Jan 9.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

Google aiming to go straight into car with next Android – sources.  Full Article 

Chinese Economy

Chinese Economy

China revises up size of 2013 economy, sees no effect on 2014 growth.  Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

BSE Sensex to hit 32,980 by December 2015  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage