In an unlikely move, struggling smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry has partnered with LG to bring its BBM messaging app to future LG devices right out of the box. LG will be preinstalling BBM on some future handsets, beginning with the LG G Pro Lite.
BBM is probably the only real success BlackBerry had in 2013. The company, once dominant in the mobile scene took a dive this year after some huge missteps. The company formally known as RIM rebranded to the more palatable BlackBerry, created a new mobile OS, BlackBerry 10, and released a few touchscreen based handsets of its own, namely the Z10 and Q10. To say the devices didn’t do so well would be a huge understatement. BlackBerry was forced to cut back production of its devices, lay off thousands of workers and Thorsten Heins was fired from the company’s top position as CEO.
BBM however has soared to popularity since its release on iOS and Android mobile platforms last October. The app proved popular garnering over 10 million downloads of the app within the first 24 hours of its release on both Android and iOS platforms, and over 20 million users in just a week after its release. While messaging apps such as WhatsApp are dominating the mobile messaging space, BBM’s success is just a flash in the pan.
Press release follows below.
WATERLOO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Dec 18, 2013) – BBM™ will soon come preinstalled on the LG G Pro Lite from LG Electronics Inc. in markets around the world. BlackBerry® (BBRY)(BB.TO) today announced a bundling agreement with LG Electronics involving both standard and virtual preloading (using the LG App Manager) and confirmed that BBM will also continue to be available as a free download from Android app stores, including Google Play™.
“BBM is widely used throughout the Middle East, Africa and Indonesia where smartphone users tend to engage heavily in social networking,” said Kevin Shin, Vice President of Marketing for Asia, the Middle East and CIS countries of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The LG G Pro Lite offers an optimized BBM experience with its large, high quality display and embedded Stylus Pen.”
“People across the globe are using BBM to connect with each other and the enthusiasm has been phenomenal,” said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President for BBM at BlackBerry. “We’re extremely pleased that LG Electronics will help bring their customers a more seamless experience with BBM by preloading the app, starting with the G Pro Lite in key markets.”
BBM is a premier mobile communication service that 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 connects 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.