BlackBerry Messenger Heads to Android and iOS

The mobile company plans an app for Android and iOS
The new BlackBerry 10 is displayed during the device's launch in New York on Wednesday, Jan. 30 Photograph by Scott Eells/Bloomberg

As its hardware sales keep falling, BlackBerry is loosening its grip on one of its most valuable services. The company announced on May 14 that this summer it will release iPhone- and Android-compatible versions of BlackBerry Messenger, a service that allows users to share instant messages and make voice calls to other BlackBerry owners through its wireless servers without extra charges. The service transmits more than 10 billion messages daily to its 60 million worldwide users. “It’s time to bring BBM to a greater audience, no matter what mobile device they carry,” Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins said at the annual BlackBerry Live conference in Orlando. He’s betting that widening the user base of the service will enhance its utility—and lead to more sales of the company’s smartphones.

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