BlackBerry has today announced that it has scrapped plans to sell its hardware business, and that it will be replacing current CEO Thorsten Heins instead. The Canadian company has also secured $1 billion from a group of investors led by Fairfax Financial, and its CEO, Prem Watsa, will become lead director.
We had expected BlackBerry Messenger to make its debut on Android and iOS on June 27 thanks to T-Mobile U.K., but when it became apparent that the carrier’s announcement was incorrect, we started to wonder just how long BlackBerry would keep us waiting.
But during a quarterly earnings call this morning, CEO Thorsten Heins again reiterated the company’s plan to make BBM a cross-platform service “before the end of the summer.”
T-Mobile U.K. has confirmed that BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS will arrive on June 27. That means we have exactly three weeks to wait until BlackBerry’s hugely popular chat service goes cross-platform, and you can see exactly what it will look like on Android in the photo above.
I have a confession to make: I own a BlackBerry Z10, and I love it. I think its BlackBerry 10 operating system is terrific — it’ll be even better when it gets more apps — and I haven’t been this excited about a new platform since I got my first iPhone. Seriously.
I certainly don’t want to see BlackBerry sinking anytime soon, then.
But I can’t help but wonder whether BlackBerry might have just shot itself in the foot by announcing BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS.
The iPhone’s user interface is getting old and Apple isn’t innovating fast enough, according to Thorstein Heins, CEO of BlackBerry. Yes, the same BlackBerry which just released the BlackBerry Z10 (several months late) in a last ditch attempt to save the company from going under because of the iPhone.
Heins admits that Apple “did a fantastic job” with the iPhone and its iOS operating system, but he believes the company is now falling behind, giving Android and the new BlackBerry 10 OS a chance to beat it in many areas.
In addition to promoting its unfinished BlackBerry 10 mobile OS at BlackBerry World in Florida, RIM also made an effort to hype the success of its current BlackBerry 7 OS in developing markets, including Nigeria and Indonesia.
It isn’t surprising to see RIM trying to prove that it’s still a competitor in the global marketplace by highlighting the platforms use in developing countries. During RIM’s latest financials call, the first one for its new CEO Thorsten Heins, the company acknowledged that markets in the developing world accounted for much of the company’s revenue.
Research in Motion announced over the weekend that the company’s two co-founders have stepped down as co-CEOs of the embattled BlackBerry maker in favor of two relative unknowns. RIM’s Chief Operating Officer Thorsten Heins becomes the new CEO while Royal Bank of Canada executive Barbara Stymiest was named independent chair.