[Opinion] BBM for Android is delayed, but who cares?

by: Nate SwannerSeptember 23, 2013


Fall is here, but BBM isn’t.

Blackberry couldn’t live up to their promise of delivering BBM before the end of summer, but they came really close. They gave a glimpse, but didn’t feel right about releasing a product that wasn’t going to be a great experience. They had it all ready to go, but couldn’t handle the demand.

Are we done making excuses for Blackberry, yet?

According to Blackberry, the issue was with a leaked BBM for Android APK. They note that — in a mere eight hours — their servers had 1.1 million unique Android users, causing issues for them. As a result, they’re pausing the rollout for BBM, retracting the Android APK (rendering it useless), and leaving those iOS users who already have the app to their vices.

When does it become too comical for us to care? On September 21st, 2013.

While all that is woeful, it shouldn’t be surprising to anyone. At all. RIM had their Blackberry 10 devices in the pipeline for over two years. For a time, nobody knew who even lead RIM Blackberry. The past three years, Blackberry has been a company in chaos, and it shows.

In 2013, Blackberry tells us they won’t release BBM until they’re confident it is “ready”. In 2011, RIM told us they wouldn’t release their Blackberry 10 devices until they knew they were “ready”. We wait, we anticipate, we are let down — and hanging around.

But really, can we just be done giving Blackberry the benefit of the doubt? They’re like the guy who just wants to finish the race, but is so far behind the winners have already received their medals and gone home. How long are we going to stick around to cheer them on? When does it become too comical for us to care?

On September 21st, 2013.

The narrative on Saturday could have easily been about Blackberry finally jumping the shark and less a handshake explanation of their continuous breakdown. They’ve got one thing to sell now, and they just can’t bring it to market. Blackberry didn’t restrict the devices it would be available on, or manage BBM with some sort of Falcon Pro/Twitter style token system — they just took it away, seemingly upset we played with it when they weren’t looking.

The narrative on Saturday could have easily been about Blackberry finally jumping the shark and less a handshake explanation of their continued failure.

In 2011, RIMs delay of their Blackberry 10 was a foreshadowing to what we see now — a company that provocatively fails us. That detainment was on the heels of the Blackberry Playbook, which was met with miserable reviews. Immediately before that launch, their CMO left the company. Almost immediately after, RIM started cutting their workforce. By fall of that year, random Blackberry outages would cause headaches across the globe, and a chain of events was set in motion.

When those Blackberry 10 phones were originally delayed, RIM routinely implored us to give them more time. We did, but the devices were perpetually three months away. In three months, consumers leave for greener pastures. In three months, developers stop caring about excuses, and want to monetize. Compound RIM’s issues against a surging iOS and Android backdrop, and we find ourselves with a company that can’t handle BBM under heavy strain.

Every time Blackberry falls down, we want them to come up swinging. They won’t, though. They’ve proven themselves a true failure, time and again. The Blackberry 10 delay shouldn’t have taken longer than 6 months, but it took two years for us to finally see it and give it a shrug. BBM was also promised to us by the end of summer, and has now been delayed. Until it’s “ready”, which is secret RIM code for “far too late”.

I know that rebranding RIM as Blackberry was supposed to make us forget the past, and it did. Until Saturday. This weekend, we were reminded that — like RIM — Blackberry just can’t. I’m not sure it even matters what you put after “can’t” any more, either. From hardware to a simple messaging service, they just can’t.

You know what? Neither can I. When it comes to Blackberry, I just can’t anymore.

  • emergenic

    Got burned by BB when they decided to not update the PB to BB10 so I’m not feeling sorry for BB…time to go join Nokia, Palm at the place tech companies go after they stop being relevant…

    • Zane Webb

      Why nokia windows is just as crap

      • Mike Reid

        I think BB beats Win in the crappy dept, at least a bit.

        I’m among the many who have been convinced that BB is toast (for at least 6 months now, for me).

        ANY company can turn itself around with the right person at the top, who ensures the right people below him/her etc.

        But IMO they haven’t made good choices for the top so far. That MIGHT change with a smart buyer, but the challenge becomes bigger with every lost dollar and lost day.

    • makapav

      ‘…stop becoming relevant…’

      You’re being too kind, Sir. Those are all companies that repeatedly shot themselves in the foot and then sat there watching the wound as they bled to death.

  • Ivan Budiutama

    just people at my country and about a hundred thousand blackberry users here ready to jump ship to iOS/Android. The local forums were flooded with people asking “why BBM is stop working on my Android” and on and on. It was quite a chaos here. People got pissed of over “Blackberry promised to be the best messanger out of Whatsapp, LINE and others but can’t handle 1.1 million users?” and (believe it or not) some Blackberry evangelist (yes, they are exists especially in my country, and twice more annoying than apple evangelist bragging about iOS 7 into your face) keep freakin telling everyone why BBM is “too good” for Android that has no “class” or “prestige”. Yeah it’s hell, well it got its moment and some of them were quite funny actually :P

    • D’Ander McSullivan

      Oh, those freaking BB fanboys. There are quite a lot in my country and yes, they’re far more annoying than the iSheeps.

      • B M

        BBM is the best messenger ever…i bet you use whatsapp???
        I use an android and have been waiting for this for ever.
        Bet you use an Iphone?

        • D’Ander McSullivan

          Men, chill the f*ck up…
          1. I use a Note 2.
          2. I use Line/Viber/Hangouts/Whatsapp (yes, all of them).
          3. I am waiting for BBM.

          Stop going around assuming things about people you do not know.

      • B M

        Tell me what you use and why it is better? BBM is one of those things no one can beat.

        • lil bit

          And its one of the things i dont need. Why would i want to install this? Already uninstalled Line and deleted my account, keeping Viber. Its as simple as this: People who are addicted to chat apps will install BBM in addition to Viber, meaning i can get away with less, i only need on app to reach everyone.

          Regular smartphone users mostly have Viber, not BBM, those who have BBM will have the others in addition.

          Communicate with BB users? What are the chances now that i will ever see a BB user again? Its F’ing close to Zero.

      • CPVideoMaker101

        Not all “iSheep” are Like that. I am an apple fanboy myself since I just prefer iOS for myself but after the end of the day, it’s just a phone. (I use an iPhone 4 and a Nexus 7)

        • D’Ander McSullivan

          Yes, ALL iSheep are like that. You, then, are not an iSheep, just an apple fan.

  • MasterMuffin

    The headline is what has been my opinions since we first heard of BBM coming to Android: who cares? People made great excuses about how they need it, but seriously, nobody is going to use it or need it (there’s always the one exception who will probably reply to this about how his/her parents still have BBM etc. Good for you dude :P)

    • samsparkin


    • Ivan Myring

      I must use BBM as I had a bad experience with Facebook twitter, whatsapp and G+.
      And it is the only way to contact my parents

      • B M

        Whatsapp sucks! Most unPrivate app ever.

    • lil bit

      You nailed it. Those who are addicted to chat apps will have Viber installed anyway, meaning i dont need anything else than Viber to keep in touch with everyone. The other way around it doesnt matter anyway, since regular users will never install BBM on their Android or iOS device.

      I even uninstalled Line, by far the most Line users will still have Viber, less bloat for my phone then, just the way i like it. I do however keep Yahoo Messenger, still have some occasionally active users in my contact list, as late as last week i reconnected with an ex girlfriend thanks to Yahoo Messenger, there were no other way for her to find me to give me her new phone number.

  • Grman Rodriguez

    I’m just saying this never happened to Whatsapp, or Line, or Kakao Talk, or Facebook Messenger, or Skype, or Viber, or anyone. Ever.

    • B M

      Whatsapp sucks becuase they do not use the pin/pass method. It shows every single contact with outr the option of removing people. Also your last online status is bolox…….No Privacy at all.

  • Peter Blanco

    Well apparently 1.1 million android users alone care given that BlackBerry said that many downloaded and used the leak. Unless I can integrate my sms in it, don’t expect me to care.

    • B M

      Best messenger in the world! Miss this the most about my BB.

  • B M

    Dear Nate because every other messenger sucks. Whatsapp is terrible…..no privacy or security. I cant wait for BBM for my android.

    • lil bit

      You will still need Viber and maybe also whatsapp to keep in touch with all your contacts, as not many will install BBM, most people could not care less, and “most people” seem to be overrepresented in my address book at least.

      I can only think of one contact who will be interested in BBM on her Android phone, but being an older ARM11 with 384MB RAM unit i think her phone is already struggling more enough with her favorite Line. She just cant dump Line or Viber for BBM, none of us can. But we can drop BBM.

  • B M

    hope to fck they get this right so i can dump whatsapp.

  • Balraj

    BlackBerry is losing hope
    Instead of sell out..they can use android & bbm os together n make a great business class device..
    Just my thought…

  • Charles Chambers

    It’s a shame. Competition is good. I’m an android fan but I thought the BlackBerry 10 OS was “neat” and fun to play with. Just not as a daily driver.

  • Ernest Christian

    Android 4.0 = Sandy Storm
    Android 4.1 = Steve Jobs died
    Android 4.4 = BBM delayed
    ain’t it?

  • Blowntoaster

    Hangouts and Viber. ‘nough said.

  • wikwakcow

    Yeah, I was also disappointed with the delay. Because the launch of BBM for android will sure help me to connect with “older” people (>45yrs old) that stuck with their blackberry because installing whatsapp / line is too complicated for them. And dont forget that some company use blackberry as their corporate phone and restrict installation of 3rd party application.
    It’s like that blackberry itself that limits their user to connect with broader audience.

  • TheStoryUp

    Hopefully they give Android and iOS the full version of BBM now with video, screen sharing, and be able to share more file types like the BB10 version.

  • Moatar

    Its is a heavy message you give to blackberry…. it hurts them but you know what … youre saying the truth, they always say “soon” and that “soon” becames a “far far away”.

    RIM!! you’re loosing all credibility and hope to return to the big game. Every step you’re making takes you down to the hell.

  • madunwa

    All I can tell you my friend, is who cares whether you care or not? Your article seems to suggest that you actually wanted BBM so bad on Saturday, and are now so mad at BB cos you couldn’t get it! You could’ve simply chosen to not download the app when it’s finally ready, instead of expressing your frustrations in this manner. I hope you’ll boycott using the app; but then, who cares?