BlackBerry partners with handset makers from India

Now that BlackBerry's popular BBM is available for both the Android and iOS platforms, BlackBerry is reaching out directly to Indian handset manufacturers to have their devices pre-installed with the BBM messaging app.
Written by Nitin Puri, Contributor

BlackBerry is partnering with Indian handset makers Micromax, Spice, and Zen, in order to have their devices pre-installed with the BBM messaging app, according to a report by The Times of India. With the BBM messaging app pre-installed, users can directly communicate and message other BBM users without having to download and install the BBM app or incur download charges. The BBM messaging app is already pre-installed on Micromax's Canvas Turbo and will be pre-installed on forthcoming Canvas releases.

While it's great that BlackBerry has made the BBM messaging app available on other platforms, and is now engaged in having it pre-installed on handsets from other manufacturers, the obvious question is why did it wait so long; why didn't it do this sooner? To begin with, in my opinion, BlackBerry was late in offering the BBM messaging app available for the both the Android and iOS platform. I think it has lost a lot of market share within messaging to other apps, namely WhatsApp and WeChat.

Sure, neither come with the high level of encryption that BlackBerry is famous for, but again, this is where I feel BlackBerry made another mistake. It didn't properly acknowledge and recognize the number of users who want to use messaging apps, and, to be frank, it isn't that concerned with encrypted messages. Messaging is all about being in touch and ease of use, which is something that BlackBerry is finally coming around to, but again, I still feel that it's a little too late. Yes, there are those who a need a high level of encryption, but in the bigger scheme of things, they are still a minority when it comes to BlackBerry customers and users. For years, BlackBerry has entertained their requirements and needs, while neglecting the rest, and that's what has cost BlackBerry dearly.

If you look at the bigger picture, many BlackBerry users are probably wondering how long the BBM messaging service will be available for, considering BlackBerry's current state. There's a strong possibility that the BBM messaging service could be sold off from BlackBerry. If this occurs, I would not be surprised to see ads starting to appear in the BBM messaging app, or even a subscription fee. Both would be turnoffs for all users, and would drive people to other messaging apps instead.

On the other hand, the BBM messaging app is one service that makes BlackBerry stand out and is still favorable amongst other handset makers and messaging services. And if someone can't get their hands on a BlackBerry, at least now the option is available on different platforms and devices to use the BBM messaging app.

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