Feeds

BlackBerry slides crown jewels into Samsung: BBM Android app touted

First, Africa ... rest of the world to follow?

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

BlackBerry is sharing its crown jewels - BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) - with non-BlackBerry devices for the first time: and the lucky punters are Samsung fandroids in Africa.

The instant-messaging app will be free, compatible with the Android-powered Galaxy range of handsets, and offer all the important BBM functionality including receipted delivery and group chats. It will open BBM to a whole new audience; the messaging software is considered a killer exclusive feature keeping users loyal to BlackBerry.

While BlackBerry handsets are perceived as enterprise devices they have over the past decade, seeped into the youth market where free messaging is a killer feature. SMS remains hugely popular within that demographic and BBM offers a comparable, if improved, experience without the expense.

So predominant is BBM amongst 'da yoof that the company's secure messaging service was supposedly used by looters to organise themselves beyond the reach of law enforcement during the 2011 London riots. That was nonsense, of course: BlackBerry is a law-abiding company that cooperated fully with the police, while looters just followed the camera crews to get where the action was, but the accusation demonstrates how popular BBM has become outside the office.

But with customers buying a BlackBerry handset just to get into the BBM network the company is taking a risk opening it up to competing platforms, though BBM has distinct advantages over the competition and could grab a decent slice of an expanding market.

Samsung is also taking some risk, though perhaps not so much. The South Koreans have been trying to get their own ChatOn service adopted by youth, or anyone else really, without much success. ChatOn is part of Samsung's if-anyone-else-does-it-we'll-do-it-too strategy and lies unused on most of the company's hardware.

BBM will be integrated into the Samsung Communications Hub, as an addition to ChatOn and the other messaging services that Samsung supports by default, and should spread outside Africa pretty quickly. But the long-term implications of opening the BBM platform will take a good while to resolve. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.