Last time I wrote (“Nimbuzz, coming to an iPhone near you“) about Nimbuzz they were adding 10.000 new members a day. It is not even 4 weeks later and now they are adding 20.000 new members a day.
It looks like Nimbuzz is on a roll!
Today they are announcing a major distribution deal with Indian based Spice Mobiles. India currently has 241 million Mobile Phone subscribers and Gartner expects those numbers to increase to 737 million by 2012.
India’s biggest Mobile Operator seems to be Bharti Airtel with 74 million subscribers. Vodafone is the fastest growing Mobile Operator with 23.5% of the market. They recently gained 1.2 million new subscribers in one month!
Spice Mobiles is a smaller but ambitious player which is owned by Idea Cellular and is estimated to have about 3.5 million subscribers right now.
Nimbuzz will soon come pre-installed on Spice Mobiles handset which are sold through their 25,000 retail outlets. The stores will also heavily market the Nimbuzz software with in-store Nimbuzz logos, links and service description on the Spice Mobiles website, and links to Nimbuzz on its WAP Portal. It is going to be pretty hard for Indian consumers to miss the Nimbuzz brand.
Complete Press Release:
NIMBUZZ SIGNS MAJOR DISTRIBUTION DEAL WITH SPICE MOBILES
Partnership brings pre-installed IM and Social Networking capabilities to Spice Mobiles users
17th December 2008 – Rotterdam – Nimbuzz (www.nimbuzz.com), the most comprehensive mobile instant messaging, (geo) presence and VoIP provider has agreed to a major distribution deal with Spice Mobiles, leader in innovative handsets in India. New Spice Mobile handsets will have the Nimbuzz application pre-installed for users to chat, message and send files on the go; and Spice Mobiles becomes a major distribution partner to join Nimbuzz’s global Manufacturer Affiliate Program.
From December most of the new Java and Windows Mobile handsets will be rolled out to the Indian market via Spice Mobiles’ approximately 25,000 retail outlets with the full Nimbuzz communication portfolio installed.
The addition of Nimbuzz will be announced to Spice Mobile customers by a multi-territory marketing campaign including Nimbuzz logos, links and service description on the Spice Mobiles website, POS promotions, and links to Nimbuzz on its WAP Portal.
Nimbuzz CEO Evert-Jaap Lugt commented: “We are growing at a record pace, adding around 20,000 new users per day. Our community appeals to handset manufacturers as they benefit from global and local IM and Social Network community integration and comprehensive feature set – at a substantially accelerated speed to market, and without incurring additional overhead costs. This deal ensures significant market penetration for Nimbuzz across the APAC territories and we will be working closely with Spice Mobiles to encourage future shipment of new handsets.”
The Spice Mobiles deal is a global contract. In addition to India, pre-installed Spice Mobiles devices will be sold in other APAC territories. Customers will be able to communicate with the growing community of Nimbuzz subscribers in over 200 countries, using Nimbuzz for features such as social networking, instant messaging, location- and file sharing. Gartner expects India’s mobile user base of around 300 million to reach 737 million by 2012. Price Waterhouse Coopers reports the Indian mobile VAS market will reach $2 billion by the end of 2008 and expect it to account for 18% of operator revenue by 2010.
Spice Mobiles CEO, Kunal Ahooja, said: “With soaring mobile usage and penetration, the Indian VAS market is witnessing remarkable growth. As the mobile handset is increasingly becoming the device of choice when it comes to accessing multitude of applications and VAS, our innovations and offerings bundled with our phones support our mission to provide our consumers a more engaging and fulfilling experience. We turn to leading technology providers such as Nimbuzz to add the best value services, such as instant messaging and social networking, to our devices.”