BlackBerry Limited revealed on Wednesday that the LG G Pro Lite from LG Electronics will feature BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), the first of many LG phones that will have the popular chat client already installed right out of the box. BBM will also continue to be available as a free download from Android app stores, including Google Play, the company said.
News of the deal arrives after BlackBerry launched the client on Android and iOS nearly two months ago. The Android version was reportedly downloaded over 10 million times in the first twenty-four hours of its release. The iOS version darted up the charts to be the number one free app in more than 75 countries in the same time period. That's quite a feat for a chat service that previously only resided on BlackBerry phones.
"People across the globe are using BBM to connect with each other and the enthusiasm has been phenomenal," said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President for BBM at BlackBerry. "We're extremely pleased that LG Electronics will help bring their customers a more seamless experience with BBM by preloading the app, starting with the G Pro Lite in key markets."
BBM users can get into groups and chat away, perfect for on-the-go meetings, comparing notes with others during a trade show, or locating friends in real time in a theme park. BlackBerry promises that BBM Groups lets users invite up to 30 friends to chat together, as well as share photo albums, calendars and files. Even more, BBM is based on the PIN system, meaning users must trade PIN numbers with friends and family in order to chat.
This deal with LG Electronics should be a big win for BlackBerry, as this move could push Android device owners to use BBM as their default messenger instead of the many other chat clients on Google Play (Skype, KIK, etc). The BBM experience will reportedly continue to evolve over the coming months, with planned updates including support for BBM Channels, a new service that connects BBM users to communities of shared interests. Also on the schedule are BBM Voice calling and BBM Video calling.