BlackBerry Messenger sees healthy iOS downloads, Asian usage

|About: BlackBerry Ltd. (BB)|By:, SA News Editor

Two months after BlackBerry (BBRY) officially launched iOS and Android BBM apps, the apps are still appearing the iPhone's top-5 free download rankings for the U.K. and Argentina, and have topped iPhone free download charts in Indonesia, Nigeria, and South Africa. The app has also reached #24 in India.

Indonesia, Nigeria, and South Africa have long been BlackBerry strongholds. The company's Indian smartphone share has been relatively small.

Meanwhile, mobile analytics firm Mobidia estimates BBM's weekly usage in markets falling into its "Other Asia-Pac" segment (excludes China, Korea, India, and Japan) is above 100 minutes. That puts it ahead of major rivals such as Tencent's (TCEHY) WeChat, Line, Viber, and Kakao (curiously, no numbers are given for the wildly popular WhatsApp).

In China, where WeChat claims hundreds of millions of users, Tencent's app fares notably better, sporting average usage above 150 minutes.

BlackBerry disclosed last week it has added 40M+ registered iOS/Android BBM users since October. However, the company is taking a gradual approach to monetization; CEO John Chen says he expects "reasonably good revenue" from BBM around the FY16 timeframe.