While RIM operations boast of 10 million downloads for its Blackberry Messenger app, some iPhone and Androids users say it may be too late for a come-back.
Andrew Bocking, head of Blackberry messenger operations, wrote in a Blackberry blog post on Tuesday that the BBM app launch was successful in a matter of hours.
“I’m also pleased to say that BBM rose very quickly in the Apple App Store app rankings in the first 24 hours, taking the number one slot in more than 75 countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, Indonesia and most of the Middle East,” wrote Bocking.
But comedian Allen Yiu, 29, says the company should have launched the app earlier.
“It’s a bit too late to be honest. I’m not sure if it would have saved the company. The position the company is in right now is not solely due to their position with their bbm app. They had poor vision. And couldn’t keep up with industry standards. I think they should have launched the app earlier,” says Yiu.
In September, the Canadian technology company announced it was exiting the consumer market to provide services to business customers. It has planned to cut 4,500 jobs and has agreed to a $4.7b sale to Fairfax financial. The company had said its hope was that the new launch would turn into a revenue generator through advertising partnerships.
Meanwhile, Yiu says the reason he owned a Blackberry in the past was because of a cheap deal. He now uses an Andriod and says he has no plan of downloading the Blackberry (BBM) app.
“Though I can be easily swayed by the masses I will be holding out. But if everyone’s using it, and it would make my life easier… I’m not going to be stubborn,” says Yiu.
But downloading the app for some users was a bit painful. After downloading, users had to register an email address then wait in line until they were told they could begin using it.
Michael Stuart, a University of Guyana student, says it took him a few hours to get his app downloaded and functioning.
“Well I registered to the service. Didn’t have to wait in line because I had signed up in advance. Everything went well until it was time for the app to communicate with the server in order to get things up and running,” says Stuart. “It’s been 24 hours and still no connection.”
Project coordinator Yaphet Jackman, 28, he has downloaded the app on his Samsung S3 phone and is finding it very useful.
“The app helps connect me with my networks that have BBM. So far it has been good,” says Jackman.
On the other hand, he says the app may be a gamble for the company.
“This cannot help Blackberry, they’ve literally opened the only thing that was keeping their product and service afloat,” says Jackman.
The Blackberry Messenger offers Blackberry users instant messaging, sending pictures, audio messages and other files as well as making voice and video calls.
The company had said the iPhone and Android version of the application would start with text messaging.
Shady Salim, 21, says his interest in the app, more than anything else, is to see how it works on the galaxy as compared to the Blackberry.
“I used to own a Blackberry when it was cool and loved using BBM so I decided to see if it would feel the same on an Android,” says Salim.
Salim, a human resource student at Humber College, says RIM has an “old popularity” and many people are moving on to bigger and better things.
Graphic designer Fergill Maclean, 31, feels the company will soon be forgotten.
“I think RIM did this to keep at least one thing alive, before everyone forgets that RIM ever existed, just like the Ericsson phones now later Sony-Ericsson,” says Maclean.
But entrepreneur and BlackBerry supporter Dustanni Barrow says he will remain loyal to the company.
“I am faithful to the brand because I and comfortable with them, their hardware is stable and consistent. I’ve owned almost every brand of Blackberry phones,” says Barrow.