It seems BlackBerry is going to go the preinstalled route with BBM. Coming by way of a recently issued press release, BlackBerry has said the BBM messaging app will “soon come preinstalled on a variety of Android based smartphones from leading OEMs.” The key here though, more than the OEMs, having BBM preinstalled will be more dependent on the market.
Further details point towards BBM being preinstalled on OEM devices for those in Africa, India, Indonesia, Latin America and the Middle East. This looks like it will begin next month and will include smartphones from Be, Brightstar, Celkon, EVERCOSS, IMO, Micromax, Mito, Snexian, Spice, TECNO, TiPhone and Zen.
And for those concerned, this will not change the current availability. Or in other words, BBM for Android will remain available by way of the Play Store.
“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
Downloading, installing and setting up a BBM account isn’t terribly difficult, however there is the initial barrier of having to go through the process. While we aren’t expecting this to make BBM the top messaging app across all Android users, this does seem like a victory for BlackBerry. To that point, further comments from Bocking mentioned how they are “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.”
In addition, there was some talk about what all BBM users can expect in the future. Comments here touched on how the “BBM experience will continue to evolve.” And this is for those using BBM on Android or iOS. There wasn’t much of a timeline other than the generic sounding “coming months” but there was some talk of the update including support for BBM Channels. As well, future BBM app updates will also add support for Voice and Video calling.