Feature Article

February 24, 2014

BBM Coming to Nokia Lumia, Nokia X Devices

Two of the mobile industry’s fading giants, BlackBerry and Nokia, have embarked on a new partnership that may prove beneficial for both parties. The partnership will see BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) make its way to Nokia Lumia and Nokia X devices in “the coming months.”

Even for non-Nokia Windows Phone users, this is good news as it likely means a general Windows Phone BBM release is in the works — after an exclusivity period of six months, of course. After all, that has been the general timeline for pretty much every other Lumia-exclusive app.

Then there’s the unique case of the Nokia X line. For those who haven’t been following Nokia’s latest maneuvers, the company is releasing a small line of low-cost Android devices. All three of the phones in the family of smartphones — the Nokia X, X+ and XL — run a heavily skinned version of Android that looks basically like Windows Phone. In other words, these devices would have had access to BBM anyway via Google Play, but they will now come pre-loaded with BlackBerry’s messaging service.

However, the real winner in this partnership isn’t Nokia, which has managed to eke out profits and market share growth in recent years. No, for the much worse-off BlackBerry, this deal means much more.

Despite BlackBerry CEO John Chen’s beliefs that the company can get back on track in the smartphone business, it’s much more likely that BlackBerry services’ will lead it to salvation, if anything. As such, its deal with Nokia is crucial for BlackBerry as it represents a way to keep BBM relevant among stiff competition from the likes of WhatsApp, Google Hangouts and Skype.

“BBM continues to grow in popularity as millions of people use our mobile platform for chatting and connecting with friends or colleagues, and we are very excited that we will soon welcome Windows Phone and Nokia X users to the BBM community,” said John Sims, president of Global Enterprise Solutions at BlackBerry, in a statement.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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