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Downloads of BlackBerry BBM app for iPhone, Android top 10 million in one day

Downloads of BlackBerry Ltd.'s BBM chat app for iPhones and Android devices have topped 10 million in just one day.

"It's been 24 hours since we resumed the launch of BBM for Android and iPhone," Andrew Bocking, BlackBerry's BBM chief, said in a blog post today. "And what a day it's been."

"BBM is looking great on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry, and the team here is very excited about the success of this launch," he added.

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BlackBerry resumed the launch of the free app yesterday, having had to stop it in late September when an unreleased version for Android was posted online.

The company instituted a line-up system, basically to wait your turn for access to the chat service, which allows users of Apple Inc.'s iPhone and devices powered by Google Inc.'s popular Android to use the instant messaging service for free.

The action for BlackBerry, which is in the midst of a sale process for all or part of the company, illustrates the popularity of BBM.

"I'm also pleased to say that BBM rose very quickly in the Apple App Store free app rankings in the first 24 hours, taking the number one slot in more than 75 countries, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Indonesia and most of the Middle East," Mr. Bocking said.

He again cited the fact that almost 1 million people grabbed the unreleased Android version, while a similar number used "workarounds" to get it on their iPhones and 6 million more pre-registered.

BlackBerry itself has stirred interest among several potential suitors, including U.S. private equity firm Cerberus, co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, and a handful of industry players.

Canada's Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. has signed a letter of intent to take BlackBerry private via a consortium for $4.7-billion (U.S.) or $9 a share.

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About the Author
Report on Business News Editor

Michael Babad is a Report on Business editor and co-author of three business books. He has been with Report on Business for several years, and has also been a reporter and editor at The Toronto Star, The Financial Post and United Press International. His articles have appeared in major newspapers around the world. More

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