In addition to launching BBM Channels today, BlackBerry has announced a deal with 12 smaller, regional OEMs to preload BBM on their Android devices.
Manufacturers ranging from India’s Micromax to Indonesia’s EVERCOSS will preload the messaging service on their Android phones, taking advantage of the lingering popularity of the BlackBerry name and the BBM brand.
Though BlackBerry market share and, subsequently, BBM usage, has fallen off in North America in recent years, the service — and the company — is still very popular in certain regions. Parts of Africa, including Nigeria, rely on BlackBerry devices, and the company has double-digit market share in Indonesia. Places where low-cost Android dominates, like India, will also benefit from this deal; BBM will go up against Hike, an Indian-owned messaging service that has gained tens of millions of users in the past year.
The company also says it is working with more OEMs to preload the Android version on their devices in other parts of the world.