LG will preload some of its new Android phones and tablets with BlackBerry's BBM messaging app, as part of the Canadian company's push to diversify from its failing handsets.
Some new LG phones and tablets will be preloaded with BBM, BlackBerry's cross-platform messaging service. The first device to have that honour is the LG G Pro Lite, a budget handset with a 5.5-inch display.
More LG devices will be preloaded with BBM in the future, using the LG App Manager, an in-house app store similar to the Samsung Apps service. BBM will also still be available to other users through the Google Play Store, as well as being available for iPhone and on BlackBerry's own smartphones.
BlackBerry's BBM bosses are predictably happy about the deal. “People across the globe are using BBM to connect with each other and the enthusiasm has been phenomenal,” said executive VP for BBM at BlackBerry, Andrew Bocking. “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 itself is also evolving. In the coming months, BlackBerry will add voice and video calling to the messaging service, and will open BBM Channels, a forum-style hub for communities of shared interests.