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BlackBerry Suspends Instant-Messaging Rollout to IPhone, Android

Last week, BlackBerry Ltd. said it will cut 4,500 jobs and take a charge of as much as $960 million for unsold smartphone inventory as it fights to return to profitability. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg
Last week, BlackBerry Ltd. said it will cut 4,500 jobs and take a charge of as much as $960 million for unsold smartphone inventory as it fights to return to profitability. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- BlackBerry Ltd. has suspended the introduction this weekend of its instant-messaging platform for users of Apple Inc.’s iPhone and phones based on Google Inc.’s Android software while it fixes issues with the application.

BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM as it is more commonly known, will still work for iPhone users who have downloaded it, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company said in a blog posting. An unofficial version for Android that was posted online is at the root of the problem and has been disabled, the company said.

BlackBerry decided earlier this year to make the free app available to rival platforms in a bid to shore up the popularity of its platform, which has been losing market share to Apple and Android for years. Last week, BlackBerry said it will cut 4,500 jobs and take a charge of as much as $960 million for unsold smartphone inventory as it fights to return to profitability.

BlackBerry said in the blog posting that more than 1.1 million Android users downloaded BBM in the first eight hours it was available. The company will resume a staggered rollout of the app for iPhone and Android as soon as it can.

To contact the reporters on this story: Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net; Edmond Lococo in Beijing at elococo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

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