HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

BlackBerry to take enterprise BBM to all phones at $30/yr

M Rajendran, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 14, 2014
First Published: 00:23 IST(14/8/2014) | Last Updated: 15:14 IST(15/8/2014)

Canadian smart-phone maker BlackBerry, which gave up its search for a suitor last year, is looking to generate revenues by licensing the highly secure enterprise version of its popular messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), across operating systems.

Companies and even governments swear by the secure environment of BBM Protected, the enterprise version, and BlackBerry is looking to monetise this asset. The company will charge an annual fee of $30 (Rs 1,830), BlackBerry India MD, Sunil Lalwani disclosed. “No date has been fixed, but it will happen soon,” Lalwani told HT.

The current release of BBM Protected can be used for BlackBerry smartphones running BB0S 6.0 or later or BlackBerry 10 in Regulated mode. Versions of BBM Protected for BlackBerry 10 smartphones using BlackBerry Balance and iOS and Android devices are expected later this year.

The company had recently launched eBBM Suite, which brings together the convenience and usability of BBM with the additional security and compliance required by enterprise customers.

The company will also launch two handsets in the next two months — Passport and Classic in India. “We have received tremendous inputs from youth segment, seeking QWERTY phones,” said Lalawani.

According to IDC, the global research firm, Black Berry’s market share continued to slide in the first quarter of 2014 dropping to below 1% of the smartphone market from 2.9% a year ago.

Smartphones now account for 63.1% of the worldwide mobile phone market, up from 50.7% a year ago.

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