BlackBerry’s BBM Pre-Installed On Emerging Market Phones

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) continues to try its luck in emerging markets where it still has a foothold. According to John Paczkowski of All Things D, the struggling handset maker has inked a deal which will put its popular BBM messaging app pre-installed on phones in a number of emerging markets.

BlackBerry targets lesser-known Android makers

He reports that BlackBerry has signed about 12 deals with makers of Android handsets in Latin America, Indonesia, India, Africa, the Middle East and other emerging markets. The company signed deals with lesser-known manufacturers like Zen, Mito, Micromax, Nexian and Celkon. Of course these companies aren’t too well known in Western markets, but they are well-known in the emerging markets where they do business. But they will now be pre-installing BBM on their smartphones before selling them.

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BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s last hope may be riding on the success of BBM, which remains popular even though the company’s handsets are not. Emerging markets are especially important for BBM because it continues to be popular, especially in India and Indonesia. And by rolling it to other platforms, it makes the app available to more users.

BBM battles other messaging apps

At this point, BBM has approximately 80 million active users every month, but the app remains in a difficult position as it faces off with Line, WhatsApp and other messaging apps. Each of them have hundreds of millions of active users every month. But BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s future is now hanging on the success of BBM, so it must pull out all the stops in order to make it.

BlackBerry unveiled BBM Channels last week, showcasing the company’s push into being a social network. However, it remains to be seen just how successful this will be, particularly since the company will face off with other social networks which already have millions of users.