You have to give it to Blackberry for trying to stay afloat in the smartphone market. Dealing with the fallout of the buyout deal from Fairfax Financial, Blackberry is now trying to salvage its position by doubling down on it’s crown jewel- Blackberry Messenger or BBM as it is popularly known.
In a bid to further penetrate the already competitive instant messaging category, Blackberry is now partnering directly with OEMs across Africa, India, Latin America and the Middle East to get BBM pre-installed on smartphones.
In India, a slew of phone manufacturers including Micromax and Spice will include the BBM app pre-installed on their phones
We had earlier covered Blackberry’s decision to take BBM cross-platform on iOS and Android which seems to have worked according to a statement by the BBM EVP Andrew Bocking
“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,”
Pre-installed BBM will boost activations but will it translate into increased usage
At the onset, the pre-installed strategy sounds smart because it allows Blackberry to report increasing number of app downloads/activations presuming that every pre-installed version also counts towards an active app download.
So while the pre-installations of BBM might allow Blackberry to garner some interest from analysts and the press, one wonders if all those pre-installed BBMs will actually be used. According to me, Whatsapp is pretty much ubiquitous to instant messaging on smartphones today and I don’t see it being different despite BBM being pre-installed.
Yes, for ex-blackberry users who opt for Micromax, Spice phones (seems unlikely) might find themselves using the pre-installed BBM app but other than that it will take some serious advertising by Blackberry to actually drive the usage of its pre-installed BBM app.
What are your thoughts on Blackberry’s partnership with OEMs to pre-install BBM? Do you think it will help drive BBM usage