BBM To Be Pre-Installed On Some LG Smartphones

LG and BlackBerry hope to capitalise on popularity of BBM in emerging markets

The cross-platform version of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is going from strength to strength with BlackBerry’s announcement that the instant messaging service will be pre-installed on some LG phones in certain markets.

BlackBerry devices are still seen as a status symbol by many in Africa, and the struggling Canadian manufacturer has announced deals for BBM to be pre-installed on cheap Android handsets in Africa, India, Indonesia, Latin American and the Middle East.


BBM Channels 1LG cites BBM’s appeal in developing markets as one of the reasons for the arrangement and the first smartphone from the company to ship with BBM will be the LG G Pro Lite.

“BBM is widely used throughout the Middle East, Africa and Indonesia where smartphone users tend to engage heavily in social networking,” explains Kevin Shin, Vice President of Marketing for Asia, the Middle East and CIS countries of LG Mobile. “The LG G Pro Lite offers an optimized BBM experience with its large, high quality display and embedded Stylus Pen.”

BBM launched on Android and iOS earlier this year and was downloaded more than ten million times in the first 24 hours it was available, with the official release delayed by a month due to the leak of an unauthorised version of the Android client. This figure has now reached 20 million, bringing the total number of BBM users to 80 million.

BBM’s success has been a rare source of good news for BlackBerry, which recently abandoned plans to sell the company in favour of a $1 billion financing deal with a number of predominantly Canadian investors.

The service has long been considered one of the company’s more valuable assets and there were even suggestions it was considering spinning off its messaging division into a subsidiary. BlackBerry recently added social networking features in the form of BBM Channels and has made the application compatible with the iPad.

BlackBerry has had a bumpy year! Try our 2013 BlackBerry quiz!