BBM will soon come pre-installed on some Android devices

By Adam Zeis on 26 Nov 2013 08:05 am EST

BlackBerry announced today that BBM will soon come pre-installed on a number of Android devices in Africa, India, Indonesia, Latin America and the Middle East starting next month. Devices from Brightstar, Micromax, Spice and others will have BBM pre-installed out of the box.

This is a huge step forward for BBM and will help adopt Android users in these regions. BlackBerry still plans to add BBM Channels, Voice and Video for Android and iPhone in the coming months.

Press Release

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 26, 2013) - BBM™ will soon come preinstalled on a variety of Android™-based smartphones from leading OEMs across Africa, India, Indonesia, Latin America and the Middle East. Beginning next month, Android smartphones from Be, Brightstar, Celkon, EVERCOSS, IMO, Micromax, Mito, Snexian, Spice, TECNO, TiPhone and Zen will include BBM preinstalled. In addition, BlackBerry® (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB) confirmed that BBM will also continue to be available as a free download from Android app stores, including Google Play.

"It is clear that smartphone customers see BBM as a must have app for active conversations. The uptake we have seen for BBM since the launch on Android and iPhone is amazing," said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President for BBM at BlackBerry. "We're thrilled to be working with leading Android smartphone manufacturers from across the globe to help bring their customers the best out-of-the-box experience with BBM preinstalled."

"Mobile messaging is a top priority for Indonesian mobile users and BBM has long been the premium messaging brand. Mobile users want their conversations to be immediate, private and reliable, which makes BBM a great fit for our devices," said Janto Djojo, Chief Marketing Officer at EVERCOSS. "BBM is incredibly popular in Indonesia and since it's availability on Android, it's become the must have messaging app for our customers. We are therefore thrilled to be working with the BBM team at BlackBerry to preinstall BBM on our devices, making it easier than ever for our customers to get connected to BBM contacts and start chatting."

"BBM is extremely popular in Africa and we know our customers will appreciate the ability to quickly access BBM on their TECNO devices and start connecting with friends and family. BBM is now a central component of our Android-based smartphone platform offering," said Jason Liu, Marketing Director of TECNO GROUP. "We are pleased to announce that we're working with the BBM team at BlackBerry to install BBM on the Android smartphones we bring to market."

"At Micromax, we have built a strong mobile ecosystem for our users, which builds a strong connection with the brand by democratizing technology for masses in India. Offering BBM, one of the most popular mobile messaging services, preloaded on our smartphones is another great example of how Micromax has built a bouquet of services for our customers to connect and communicate seamlessly," said Rahul Sharma Co-Founder Micromax. "We have now preloaded BBM on the new Canvas Turbo and the initial response from our consumers has been overwhelmingly positive. BBM will now be preloaded in the entire future range of Canvas phones."

BBM gives customers privacy, control and immediacy as they chat with their contacts - either one-to-one, in multiple chats or as part of a BBM Group. BBM's Delivered and Read statuses, as well as message-in-progress notices, keep people engaged and active in their conversations.

BBM lets users share files such as photos and voice notes, as well as update their profile and status with ease. Up to 30 people can connect as a BBM Group to chat and share photos, calendars and other files or documents.

Every BBM user has a unique PIN tied to their BlackBerry ID that helps maintains their privacy. Users never have to give out their phone number or email address to begin chatting with a new or casual contact.

The BBM experience will continue to evolve for Android and iPhone® users in the coming months, with updates that will include support for BBM Channels, a new service that will connect BBM users to communities of shared interests in a very engaging and intimate manner, as well as support for BBM Voice calling and BBM Video calling.

Topics: BBM Android Apps

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

BBM will soon come pre-installed on some Android devices


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They come pre installed in blackberry countries? In my opinion you have to do it in Europe and North America, where people are less convinced about BlackBerry than in India or the middle eqst

Posted via CB10

I'm curious, why do you think this is a good thing? This is just one less reason for a user to purchase BB hardware and OEM's sure aren't going to pay BB any money to preload their free app.

You're thinking backwards. Hardware is pretty much done at Blackberry. iOS and Android won all their potential growth from under them. Blackberry going forward will be a Services company that also sells handsets to niche customers.

What services are they going to sell? Nobody will pay for BBM. BB10 is nothing special as an OS. BB has long hung their hat on 'security' but the deal worked out with the Indian government throws that right out the window for anyone who looks past the buzzwords and marketing BS.
On the other hand, BB's hardware has long been widely recognized as top-notch. If BB had half a lick of sense they'd adopt another OS platform, Android or WP, skin or customize it to provide additional security, and take advantage of the recognition they still have as solid hardware OEMs.

When you critic, provide reasons. Not posturing. At the end, software and services drive companies. Is IBM dead? Think.

Posted via CB10

BB isn't IBM. Not even close, even when BB was in their heyday. I gave reasons why they should stick with hardware, they don't have marketable services. Don't say I should give reasons, then give none of your own. What services are they going to provide?

I refer you to my previous comment when Bbm went cross platform and I suggested this. Good to know they were listening to me.

Sign me up as a strategic advisor, you clearly need my commercial acumen!

Posted via Z10 on CB10

Since installing the leaked os 10.2.1055 my BBM doesn't work nor does my camera. I got a few people to try BBM but know mines doesn’t work. Is there away to fix it and the camera. Getting error saying camera won't start

Posted via CB10

you might have restored your data and settings after installing the leaked os. start fresh without restoring your data and see if your issues remain. I also had some issues after restoring everything i had previously backed up. So i reinstalled the leaked OS but without restoring anything. Everything worked as they should.

f anybody from Blackberry is seeing this please fix file sharing. I'm back to MMS with my friends because the experience is crop. We don't need Compression, and don't even have it it multi person chat. Oh and the display pic is compressed to garbage

I believe if you click and hold on a picture you can request a high quality picture

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

It's call options and it is extremely valuable in countries that charge a premium for data.

Posted via CB10

Ya well I don't live in Africa. I value quality. Shit even instagram looks 1080p in comparison. And clearly these third world countries provide enough profits to blackberry alone. So what's more important?

"Ya well I don't live in Africa."

Thank you! Thank You! Thank You for saying this. I don't live in Thailand, or Indonesia, or Vietnam. I live in New York City and frankly don't really care about how other countries handle their data, or what they charge for minutes or anything else.

Why does blackberry sell LTE phones and then shrink my pictures down to 10kb. That's insanely small. My phone breathes more data then that. I got 6 gigs and LTE over 10mb/s. Like having a Ferrari on a golf coart full of old people

So maybe it should be an option? or have it auto download high resolution images over Wi-Fi which is what I use for data 95% of the time.

Exactly. Better to start with a small pic, when you don't care about looking at the screen details, and simply click on the screen if you do. That is simple data conservation, and that is what made BBM such at hit to begin with.

Nice this is definitely going to help boost brand recognition with BBM and increase the user base.

it's distributor,not a brighstar which brings BlackBerry to Malaysia.. :)

Sent via my Oreo Z10 BBM Channel C001BC43C

While great for BBM, this will hurt hardware sales of the lower end devices. Considering that BB07 was selling at least as well if not better than BB10 even as of the last earnings report, not sure this was the best idea. Anyway it's done and whats done cannot be undone, will wait and see how it goes.

+1 on this. But unfortunately I think it's a sign that Chen is abandoning hardware.

I am worried that in five years Chen will be hailed as a great turnaround master but non of us will be using BlackBerrys.

Posted via CB10

Mr Chen has already stated in two press releases and the interview he did with Kevin that he has no plans to stop making BlackBerry phones.

He has also stated that long term he wants to put a software guy in the CEO position. What good is a software CEO if BlackBerry is going to drop BlackBerry 10?

Personally I think he is taking more of a grass roots approach to rebuild BlackBerry. Pull away from the consumer market for a period to concentrate on laying the smack down on all these little MDM upstarts that think they can challenge the old King in the enterprise market and then make a big splash in the consumer space when BlackBerry 10 is a little more mature and the phones are actually on par with the competition.

Firstly BlackBerry told that the BB voice video and channels will come to android and its by the end 2013 and now it is in coming months...

Posted via CB10

I know right! I'm also getting confused too. :s When BlackBerry launched cross-platform BBM last month, they said that they will update the Android/iOS versions with Video and Voice calling before the end of this year. But now, they're saying that it will come out "within months". Let's cautiously hope that from BlackBerry's point of view that "before the end of this year" and "within months" mean the same thing. Since John Chen is at the helm, let's see if they can deliver on their promise.

I really think this is a dumb move by BlackBerry . Hear me out these areas are where BlackBerry holds a lot of market share and it mainly has to do because of bbm since texting is expensive for example I have family in south American for them to text it's 30 cents a text which can add up. However with bbm you can message all day long for free. And when people see that BBM is on other phones there marketshare will drop.

Canadian cities BBM Channel C001234A4

I think they took this into consideration when discussing to go cross platform. If BB10 gets to the point of running all Android apps along with BB10 apps, then the hardware sales with the BB10 OS will be a no brainer. I cannot believe how stable this new OS is. It never crashes for me.

Posted via CB10

I agree totally. I think this is great for BBM and will sure boot the adoption, however the sales of the actually Blackberry devices will surely suffer.

It may not sell devices initially but at least will keep the brand name visible. Now bring out Channels please.

I wonder if they will start preinstalling the Channels in the future to offer that as a paid service soon after?

Posted Via CB10 using the power of "Q"

Maybe this is part of their strategy of phasing out the hardware business. Making BBM available on android phones pre-installed kills the market for entry level bbry devices since most people are looking at cost and would choose an android over a bbry. I'm in one of bbry key markets and I'm seeing the trend in the market of people moving from bbry to android especially when BBM was the differentiator. Anyways time till tell. Lets see what happens.

Posted via CB10 from BB Z10 (My stable: 8310, 8520, 9900, Z10)

I don't know that it's a very good idea. I'd hate to see XBBM become labeled as Bloatware. If it were to come pre-installed on EU or NA devices, it would probably be a certainty.

The only reason bbm is popular on those countries is it doesn't use data. They fail to mention those countries it's a os7 world. Higher end phones don't sell because of the high price of cell phone plans

Is this true? I can't use BBM without my data package active on the Telus network, while I get SMS always.

Perhaps with WiFi on, but what if one is mobile?

I hope they don't.

We need to take back what MS has swiped (no pun intended) from us in the past few Months.

I don't see BBM on Windows soon, but do see it on Windows desktop PC's.

BBM on every Android makes perfect sense and a fret first step!

BTW - the only preloaded apps on iOS, are Apple apps. That's the way it is and will always be. #WalledGarden

Posted via CB10

Will the owner of the phone be able to uninstall it if they don't want it? If not, that's a terrible idea. No one likes bloatware.

Posted via CB10

Wow, this is huge. BBM has always been huge in these countries anyway. I think this is a definite signal that BlackBerry is headed toward becoming solely a software/social media provider.

I think the hardware part of the company may fade away.

So let's look at the BlackBerry company we know today. We all love our devices, right? and we want the company to succeed, right? Think of the device sales as being the (revenue) engine that drives the company overall, and basically keeps the company going. Bottom line - the company (as we know it today) needs to keep DEVICE SALES going, in order to keep going. So, knowing that, I truly believe that BBM going cross-platform, while initially a good move to spread the brand name, will eventually kill the company.

Think long-term people - again, if you believe that DEVICE SALES are needed to keep the company going, then having BBM available on iOS and Android will do <nothing> to push people into buying BB devices at the retail counter. It's my contention that cross-platform BBM will just hasten along the eventual break-up of the company.....hard pill to swallow but yes that's what I believe.

They must add voice, video and bbm channels asap...
They need to get to the the top by providing exceptional user experience

Posted via the awesome keyboard on Z10STL100-1/ using CB10 App

I like the direction that BlackBerry is taking here.

I see this as a slingshot into the North American and European market.


This is a great start, time to leverage the same thing in Europe and the Americas, as well as getting builders of phones to pre-add the app. The more people using the phones being sold will help all involved.

I wonder if users of those devices will have the option to uninstall BBM if they don't use it or like BB10 users, will they have no option but to have it constantly running in the background, forcing a data connection, needlessly sucking your battery dry whether you like it or not.

Thought this was already happening in Indonesia and Nigeria? Anyways the News Release is a broader update...good to see they're starting to fight back the false perceptions.

Posted via CB10

Good to hear, I'm still leaving my Android device for an iPhone 5s to be used as my secondary smartphone. The Z10 will remain my "Go To" phone

Posted via CB10

BBM on windows phone please. I really don't want an android phone where google can track everything I do. iPhone, never.

Good strategy but....bear in mind that most budget phones have 512mb ram and 1gb is quite rare. The bbm service is a ram hog, starting at less thn 20mb and can increase to 200+ mb. That would be half of available ram. My nexus 4 with 1gb free ram keeps closing the icon, not sure why but probably kitkat kills large services above a certain size. My friends are uninstalling bbm and also wechat as these apps are 'killing' their 512mb phones. Most will stick to whatsapp as default IM.