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BlackBerry Messenger to be preloaded on LG phones

BlackBerry has announced that its BlackBerry Messenger app for Android will be preloaded on LG smartphones, with the LG G Pro Lite being the first come bundled with the messaging service. The decision to preload BBM on the G Pro Lite initially suggests that the companies are targeting emerging markets with the move — the entry-level 5.5-inch handset is sold in Russia, China, India and the Middle East.

Today's announcement follows recent hints from BlackBerry that it'd secured deals with "leading OEMs" to preinstall BBM on Android handsets. BBM will continue to be available as a free, standalone app for Android and iOS, the company says.

More coverage: CrackBerry (opens in new tab)

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Is it really that popular that they think people want it preloaded? I never had a BlackBerry so I have no use for it. From former BlackBerry users I heard the app sucks. Sent via my Verizon Moto X
  • No it isn't popular at all, this is an attempt to make it popular.
  • Over 80 million users worldwide was reported back in October and had probably risen since then. So it's fairly popular, maybe not in the US but there are others markets out there besides the US. I'll admit the Android and iOS versions suck compared to the BB10 version, no video, limits on file types, no screen sharing and no BBM Channel's. They better release those updates soon. Also to have to root your phone to uninstall any pre-loaded app is ridiculous, not sure if that is the case here. Posted via Android Central App
  • Sir you have NEVER heard from ANY former BB user that Blackberry Messenger sucks. Posted via Android Central App
  • I believe he was referring to the Android app. And as a former BB user myself, compared to the BB version, the Android app does suck . So there, now he has heard it.
  • I'm a former BB user and I thought BBM was the dumbest thing ever. My CEO loved it and I never could figure out why. So now he has heard it from a former BB user. BBM sucks no matter what platform.
  • Yes, I think he was referring to the Android version of BBM, which does suck. They should really consider switch to GCM instead of the crappy keep-alive method that they're currently using. Some people don't like the persistent notification icon, and when you remove it, messages can be delayed hours until you finally remember to open the app and let messages come in. Also, the interface is laggy. Doesn't seem to have image caching so everytime I go back to my contacts screen, I see a bunch of contact images reloading. It just doesn't feel very polished. BBM as a service is great, but the Android app does suck.
  • I am also a former BB user, even a former BBM user, and I think the app sucks. Not because of video or any of that crap, just that every other messenger does all the same stuff, and can do it on any and all my electronics, not just my phone. Even after BBM cross platformed, still can't chat from my computer and phone, interchangeable, at the same time. Posted via Android Central App
  • Just because you used NEVER in all caps... BB was terrible, BBM on BB was terrible and BBM on android is an abomination. Since you're in the habit of making absolute statements, I thought I would be the first to break the news to you that RIM/BB is only moments away from closing the doors for good on their wonderful company. Sorry you haven't seen the news in 2013.
  • Well, no more LG for me. Posted via Android Central App
  • It's not like you can't disable, hide it, and choose a different messaging app or anything. -_-
  • i would still prefer to download it myself if i need it.
  • I am not saying I would want it on there, but I wouldn't stress about it. BBM currently takes up 13mb, even smaller after you uninstall the updates I bet, nothing much to worry about IMO.
  • You never know.. Not everything can be disabled. If BB payed enough to have it on there maybe they'll pay to not be disabled either.
  • ? Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.
  • No, you're right guys, bbm isn't popular at all. Really? Are you here to be apart of a community or just make uneducated and unwanted comments? I don't understand fanboys. Posted via Android Central App
  • Perhaps an oversimplification, but his comment does have some merit. I am sure it is very popular with regular BB users. However, in the vast world of Android users I don't think it is. This is an attempt by BB to try and continue to hold on to a shrinking market. Like it or not the BB world is slowly dying as businesses find more and more ways of locking down Android and Apple devices.
  • WhatsApp is way better than this. Sent via the Android 5.0 MilkShake.
  • Also, in some parts of the world, Blackberry, and thus BBM, has just never been popular. Only at one place have I ever seen a Blackberry phone in real life: the company where I work seem to hand out BBs to employees with the need of a mobile phone, although they seem to slowly change to iPhones. Never ever have I seen a Blackberry phone on sale in any store, anywhere. The really popular phone brand around here before smart phones was Nokia, then SonyEricksson, Samsung and some of the other now-Android brands. I, for one, never heard of BBM before AC started announcing it would be available for Android :-) Posted via Android Central App
  • While it is true that Blackberry is no longer the dominant force that it once was and it took them way too long to get this service onto competing platforms, there are still people out there that swear by their Blackberries and the one feature that they didn't want to lose was their BBM. Add to that, the fact that it is still the most secure instant messenger-like service and the fact that it does not rely on a phone number like most of these other programs (the exceptions being Skype and imessage) and it actually has a chance to make a comeback... as long as one of those "leading OEMs" is Samsung. Seeing as how they are the current King of the Android Hill, they need to make sure that they have a deal sewn up with them. I really don't see Motorola doing this kind of deal with Google trying so hard to push their Hangouts/+ service.
  • Can it be removed? (not just disabled) Tried it, what a waste of an app and no need to have it on my phones.
  • Good question! I am sure there are many potential LG customers that want to know that.
  • You can totally remove it with root.
  • You should not have to root to remove apps -----------------------------------------
    Dammit man, I am a commenter not a clairvoyant!
  • try removing notes/itunes/system app from iOS without jailbreaking
  • If we arent careful one day we will have adds on phones everytime we turn them on!
  • All of my android devices have adds. You have to open the calculator to see them though. :P
  • I see what you did there :P Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the AC app.
  • But this is Android
  • ...and there is a reason why I am not on iOS...
  • If you want BBM fine, download it and use it. Otherwise, it's just more Bloatware.
  • Don't want anything dead sliming up my brand new phone Posted via Android Central App from Nexus 7 2013
  • Thank you so much blackberry team. I was waiting this app. Its really great user friendly and smooth.
  • It has been in the play store for months. You couldn't have wanted it that bad -----------------------------------------
    Dammit man, I am a commenter not a clairvoyant!
  • You might be missing the joke.
  • Missed it totally.....
  • that was a joke
  • Don't forget to add the '/s' at the end until the world comes up with a font for sarcasm...or a pill that will kill off those who survived the first round of technological Darwinism.
  • So is this what BlackBerry has become? A leech on a popular mobile platform? When do we get iMessage? -----------------------------------------
    Dammit man, I am a commenter not a clairvoyant!
  • Really not a fan of this. We shouldnt have to root a phone to remove an unwanted app. LG and other OEMs need to stop forcing unwanted stuff on our phones!
  • Not a good way to fend off the Samsung "copy cat" tag. Sent via the Android 5.0 MilkShake.
  • Out of nostalgia, I tired in. Absolutely no one I contact uses it so it's a waste for me. A case of trying to beat a dead horse.
  • They can pre-load anything they want... JUST give me the option/ability to remove it if I don't want it.
  • Blackberry is that psycho ex-girlfriend that you wished would just go away...:-P
  • They slapped ChatOn on my Note 3 and I haven't used it once. Are there really what many people who will use a service they have no interest in simply because it is forced upon them?
  • To be fair, Chaton is a Samsung product. The service might not be something you want but Samsung has never been afraid to clog up your phone with their services.
  • It's for emerging markets where pretty much every feature-phone I've seen sold in little stores come preloaded with WhatsApp so it's a good move on on their part to preload smartphones with its rival.
    People in those markets don't do SMS - they do WhatsApp, so if their phones comes with BBM instead, it might be enough to convince some to switch to the free BBM over the annual membership of WhatsApp. We'll see.
  • this wretched app should not be preloaded on any nexus... we can only hope
  • In what world would Google preload a rival app to their own products (Hangouts) on a phone that's meant to be as purely Google as possible? Same reason Samsung wouldn't do this either, they have enough trouble pushing ChatOn, they'd never add another competitor to it. Posted via Android Central App
  • It isn't... Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the AC app.
  • How does this help BB? Are they just another app company now? Posted via Android Central App
  • They're desperate to gain some traction. The app has been available for a while now & I don't think LG would agree to this if not for heavy demand for the app Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm sure that LG demanded some cash in order to make this happen. They'd just better deposit the check as soon as it arrives. I harbor no ill will against BlackBerry, but if they sent me a check, I'd get it in the bank before it had an opportunity to start bouncing.
  • It is based on money, not demand. There is heavy demand for Candy Crush but that isn't preinstalled is it?
  • What is a Blackberry?
  • Its the most reliable mobile communication device you could ever hold in your hand. Love my HTC One but BB smokes it in communicating & I think that's what phones are for Posted via Android Central App
  • Funny guy Sent via the Android 5.0 MilkShake.
  • Ahh memories..
  • Serious question, how does it smoke Android for communicating? What does it do that Android cannot?
  • You didn't see the sign? Don't feed the trolls
  • I'm still waiting for answers to these questions. It's hilarious, how someone makes an extremely unsubstantiated claim and then never responds to criticism. Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5
  • Just think, in a few short weeks it will be 1998 and there is no end in sight for the RIM empire.
  • Wonder how much it costs BlackBerry to buy this placement?
  • I'm so glad that the world ends at the shores of the North American continent. Can you imagine if there were actually other countries and cities and people who did things differently than us here. I would absolutely hate it if people did things differently than us.
  • I think I get it. Blackberry paid LG to put their messenger service on all LG Android phones because North Americans are closed minded.
  • Lol, good call. Posted via Android Central App
  • I don't see this as a bad move. They are looking to increase visibility, and it can be a useful app. BBM Groups come in quite handy. We have a family group where we poor all of the family and school events (keeps the high school performance in my calendar without having to add then to my work calendar), along with using the Group list option for the grocery list (honey do list, and many other things like that). If you have people using different platforms, it can come in handy. It might not be for everyone, but choices are always good.
  • Google has all this functionality already. I frankly wouldn't hitch my cart to Blackberry for anything right now (even if it is just a group calendar). Especially for family members on iOS and Android that already have a lot of choice.
  • I understand the whole preloaded app stuff from a business standpoint, but just like pc's let me uninstall without issues, and let the 95% of users who don't root have that same option. Posted via my GS3 with the Android Central App
  • Ugh, no thanks. Bloatware at its finest.
  • Cool? Sent from my Nexus 7 2013
  • It is sad to see how BlackBerry has ended up. There was a time when BBM was one of the main reasons people stayed with BlackBerry. And BlackBerry foolishly thought that would last forever and they refused to make it cross platform when the demand was there. Now, they are so desperate to get people using BBM that they are paying their competitors to pre-install it. BBM went from the king of IM apps to bloatware. Sad to say, but a part of me wishes that BlackBerry had died years ago. Their continued existence is just embarrassing at this point.
  • It is sad. My first two smartphones were Blackberries, and they were top notch. The company is definitely a shadow of its former self. Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5
  • The only time I remember seeing a BlackBerry phone in real life, was a friend who got one in 2009 or 10. They got it cheap, and didn't have it long. Bloatware will make me go elsewhere, LG. Posted from the (4.2 updated) redheaded stepchild of the Nexii
  • I don't want this buggy oddball silly french canadian software on my phone. And I don't drive a Peugeot or a Renault either.
  • If only it was 2007-8 for blackberry RIM or whatever they call themselves lol Sent from my Nexus 7 2013
  • BlackBerry definitely wanted too long to make BBM cross-platform... Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5
  • This is the kind of shit that makes nexus devices oh so good in comparison to have all you get preloaded is google apps that you will actually use not crap like VZ navigator lol Sent from my Nexus 7 2013 or Moto G