BlackBerry Considering Spinning off BBM Service into Separate Unit

BlackBerry is considering spinning off its BlackBerry Messenger service into a separate unit, according to sources cited in the Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ reports that the subsidiary would be called BBM Inc. However, BlackBerry is refusing to comment “on rumour and speculation.”

Ahead of this potential spin off, BlackBerry will launch BBM for both Android and iOS, two competing software platforms. According to WSJ’s sources familiar with the matter, that should happen “in the next few weeks.” Following that, the Waterloo company may also bring BBM to the desktop, similar to how Apple did with iMessage on the iMac.

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BBM currently has about 60 million users. Over the years its feature list has expanded to include such things as video calling over wifi and BBM channels.