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

   
Rajalakshmi (C), 28, smiles after winning the Miss Wheelchair India beauty pageant in Mumbai November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Miss Wheelchair India

Seven women from across India participated in the country's second wheelchair beauty pageant, which aims to open doors for the wheelchair-bound in modelling, film and television, according to organisers  Slideshow 

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:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

WTO Trade Deal

WTO Trade Deal

WTO clinches first global trade deal in its history  Full Article 

Kashmir Attack

Kashmir Attack

Ten dead in Kashmir's worst militant attack in more than a year  Read 

OPEC Meeting

OPEC Meeting

Saudis block OPEC output cut, oil price sinks further.  Full Article 

E-Commerce Boom

E-Commerce Boom

Online grocers come up trumps in India's e-commerce boom   Full Article 

GDP, RBI Preview

GDP, RBI Preview

GDP growth set to weaken, business wants reforms more than rate cut  Full Article | Related Story 

Jaitley to Rajan

Jaitley to Rajan

Jaitley likely to meet Rajan on Monday to urge rate cut  Full Article 

Banking Sector

Banking Sector

India moves to allow more businesses to offer basic financial services.  Full Article 

Jamini Roy

Jamini Roy

Photo Gallery – Bengali household name Jamini Roy’s paintings  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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