BlackBerry's popular instant messaging app is set to become a standard feature on new handsets sold in Africa, India, Indonesia, Latin America and the Middle East.
For most existing users, the free-to-use BBM feature is one of the killer applications that still makes owning a BlackBerry handset worthwhile. This ability to chat to individuals, groups and to share links, video clips and images has also allowed BlackBerry to retain its position in emerging markets where the cost of data, rather than internal specifications, is the biggest decision when choosing a handset.
In the face of growing competition from cheaper and cheaper Android handsets and the proliferation of other messaging apps, such as What's App and Line, BlackBerry recently launched BBM as a standalone app for Android and iPhone, but that is just the start.
"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."
From December the app will start being preinstalled on handsets sold by Be, Brightstar, Celkon, EVERCOSS, IMO, Micromax, Mito, Snexian, Spice, TECNO, TiPhone and Zen.