BlackBerry BBM For Android, iPhone May Release ‘Within Days’ As Company Issues Open Letter To Reassure Customers And Partners

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BlackBerry
A Blackberry logo is seen through a cracked box in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica on Sept. 24, 2013.

More than three weeks after BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) delayed the launch of its BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM, app for Android and the iPhone, a company executive has shed new light on when to expect the release of the popular messaging app, even as the company issued an open letter seeking to reassure stakeholders.

In an interview published Tuesday, Frank Boulben, BlackBerry's chief marketing officer, told Reuters that he expects the BBM to be released on both Android and the iPhone “within days.” According to him, the company is confident that it has fixed the software glitches that plagued the initial cross-platform launch of the messaging app in September.

BlackBerry suspended the official roll-out of the BBM app for both iOS and Android for an unspecified period of time after an unofficial version of the app leaked online and was downloaded by many Android users.

According to Boulben, BlackBerry already has six million Android and iPhone customers, who have pre-registered for the launch of its BBM service. BlackBerry also reportedly rolled out a new beta version of the Android-specific application to testers, suggesting that a release date for the app is not too far away.

Meanwhile, the company, on Monday, issued an open letter to its customers and partners, seeking to instill confidence about the health of the once-iconic phone maker. Here are some of the key excerpts from the letter, which was published in 30 news outlets across nine countries:

You can continue to count on BlackBerry

How do we know? We have substantial cash on hand and a balance sheet that is debt free. We are restructuring with a goal to cut our expenses by 50 percent in order to run a very efficient, customer-oriented organization.

Best in Class Enterprise Mobility Management

We changed with the market, embracing BYOD because we understand that as iOS and Android™ devices become common in the workplace, businesses still need to manage all of these different platforms seamlessly and securely…

And our customers know it. Over the past quarter, our BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 server base grew from 19,000 to more than 25,000. Corporate clients are committed to deploying and testing the latest enterprise technology from BlackBerry. We are committed to evolving with our customers. That will never change.

Best in Class Mobile Social Network

We are bringing the most engaging mobile messaging platform to all, with our BBM™ launch for Android™ and iPhone. There are already around six million customers pre-registered to be notified of our roll out.

Boulben, during his interview with Reuters, also sought to clear the air about BlackBerry's future by reiterating some of the highlights of the letter.

"We want customers to know that they can continue to count on us - we are here to stay. We have substantial cash on our balance sheet and we have no debt,” Boulben said. “We are restructuring our cost base and this is a very painful transition, but it will make us financially stronger and we want to get that message directly to our customers.”

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