BlackBerry’s OS and brand in general may be tanking right now, but the Canadian company seems determined to turn things around, and following the recent release of its prized BBM app for iOS and Android, it looks as though users of the latter ecosystem may begin to see the instant messaging app installed as standard on some future devices. If there’s one thing consumers tend to loathe, it’s the pre-installation of unnecessary bloatware that cannot be removed, but the good news – at least, for much of the western world – is that it’s unlikely to be finding its way to your favorite Android brand of handset any time soon.
As per an official announcement from BlackBerry today, BBM will be installed as a stock app on a number of Android handsets from next month, although the company’s target audience appears, for now, to be smartphones in “Africa, India, Indonesia, Latin America and the Middle East.”
In an attempt to rationalize the move to the consumer (as opposed to merely admitting that BlackBerry is running out of options), Andrew Bocking, the company’s Executive VP for BBM, noted how “thrilled” the company was to be joining forces with OEMs to “help bring their customers the best out-of-the-box experience with BBM preinstalled.”
Let’s be honest, this helps nobody but BlackBerry. “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,” continued Bocking, but since those who do regard BBM as an, ahem, “must-have” can readily go to the Google Play or App Store and grab it themselves, this obvious marketing ploy should not be seen as anything else but that.
The mobile manufacturers in the target markets have naturally been releasing statements talking BBM up, and the whole scenario only continues to underline just how quickly BlackBerry has descended in the past few years. The once-mighty brand is now clutching rather desperately on to its messaging app, which, although once a force, has seen many others, such as WhatsApp Messenger, come along and occupy its patch.
BlackBerry will be hoping the lauded privacy and security of BBM, along with this push on certain markets and devices, will help turn its fortunes around.
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