Samsung and BlackBerry joining hands isn’t something we would expect normally (especially since the former is trying take over the latter’s enterprise market), but that’s exactly what the two companies have done: Samsung will offer BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for Android to owners of its Galaxy devices in Africa, through the Samsung Apps app store.
BBM was recently found to have entered beta testing for Android, and it looks like Samsung has jumped on the chance to offer it to consumers in BlackBerry’s strongest market. BBM will “form part of Samsung Messaging Hub as a complementary addition to the current slate of propriety and third-party messaging services that Samsung customers enjoy,” and will also be available through the Google Play Store.
Despite mentioning only Africa, we can expect Samsung to make BBM available in other markets as well – I suspect Samsung’s ChatOn app will see quite a few departing users after that happens, as regardless of what people think of BlackBerry, BBM will probably see a huge uptake in the Android (and iOS) world. It is expected to launch before the end of September.
Here’s the full press release.
Samsung to offer BBM in Samsung App store for all GALAXY Smartphone devices
5th August, 2013 – Today, Samsung has announced that the upcoming BBM™ app will be available in the Google Play and the Samsung App store soon and available to all Samsung GALAXY smartphone consumers across Africa.
Says George Ferreira, VP and COO of Samsung Electronics Africa: “At Samsung we are all about collaboration, innovation and driving consumer experience based on choice, value and customisation to suit every lifestyle. As such, bringing a top tier messaging service such as BBM is another way that we are expanding the catalogue of our messaging services and offering customers an amazing way to stay instantly connected with colleagues, friends and family.”
BBM will form part of Samsung Messaging Hub as a complementary addition to the current slate of propriety and third-party messaging services that Samsung customers enjoy – all aimed at empowering consumers to connect with each other in better ways using text messaging. Offering BBM on GALAXY smartphones in Africa will give Samsung customers access to the BBM social network, including BBM chats, multi-person chats and BBM Groups, which allows BBM customers to create groups of up to 30 people, as well as the ability to share photos and voice notes.
“It is important to strike a balance between developing high-tech smartphones that carry brands in to the future and creating a sustainable ecosystem that primarily supports the needs of consumers that use these devices. Value added services are considered a prerequisite in the fast-paced, challenging environment that exists today and as a result, we will continue to drive innovation through our smart hub functionalities to ensure our consumers have the choice which they desire,” concludes Ferreira.
“BBM provides one of the best and most robust mobile messaging experiences today. BBM has always set the standard for mobile instant messaging and we are thrilled to bring this experience to Samsung customers across Africa,” said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President BBM at BlackBerry. “BBM is loved by people who rely on fast, trusted messaging, along with the immediacy that our delivered and read statuses bring. Samsung customers will soon join the BBM nation in its love of the “D” and “R” notifications.”
The companies have also agreed to joint marketing efforts to showcase BBM for Android to customers and to mobile users across Africa.
At launch, the app will be available for download from the Samsung and Google Play Stores, at no cost.