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BlackBerry considering making BBM into separate spin-off company

Despite a decent uptake of its new BlackBerry 10 operating system and phones like the Q10 and Z10, Canadian manufacturer BlackBerry is struggling in the current market. Its board is currently looking into strategic options to help keep the company going, and the latest idea is said to be spinning off the BBM brand as a separate company.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the idea to split the BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) brand from BlackBerry itself is currently being investigated, as well as forming a partnership with a big name brand in mobile such as Google or Microsoft.

If such a move were to go ahead, the second company would be known as ‘BBM Inc’, according to WSJ. The brand would cater solely for BlackBerry Messenger, which itself is on the verge of finally becoming a cross-platform instant messaging app thanks to apps for iOS and Android.

Further to apps on rival platforms, we’re told that such a move would result in a desktop BBM client becoming available. This would put the service in direct contention with the likes of Skype, Viber and Apple’s iMessage, all of which allow their respective users to call, chat and share files between PC, Mac and the various smartphone platforms.

By making BBM a separate company, BlackBerry won’t lose the key feature on its smartphones. There will however be much more of a chance of BBM launching on the likes of Windows Phone, PC and Mac in a bid to boost the user base and potentially draw more people back to using BlackBerry smartphones.

At the moment anything could happen, or not happen, with BlackBerry. The company has three new smartphones out and another on the way in the form of the Z30, plus upgrades to BlackBerry 10.2, so we can’t see anything drastic taking place soon.

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