BlackBerry to Offer BBM Messaging App on Apple, Android Devices

BlackBerry will offer versions of its BBM instant-messaging service on iPhones and Android devices, extending one of its most popular features beyond its own smartphones for the first time.

BBM will be available as a text-only application for the competing smartphones in the next few months before adding a voice feature, BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins said today. The app will be available for devices using Apple Inc.’s iOS operating system and Google Inc.’s Android, he said at the company’s annual conference in Orlando, Florida.

The move would give BlackBerry a way to capitalize on the popularity of BBM, which has more than 60 million users. The company is also taking a risk by allowing other handset users access to a service that had been only available on its own devices.

BlackBerry dropped 1.6 percent to $15.62 at 11:09 a.m. in New York. The shares had climbed 34 percent this year through yesterday.

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