BlackBerry Messenger For Android And iPhone Suffers Delays

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Unauthorised Android version delays cross-platform launch – but is downloaded 1.1 million times before being pulled

Troubled BlackBerry’s problems have continued after it halted plans for a global rollout of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for iOS and Android when an unreleased version of the application leaked online.

Impressively, the unauthorised release was downloaded 1.1 million times in eight hours, but this caused a number of issues for the service and BlackBerry said it needed to fix them before it could continue with the launch.

BlackBerry said anyone who downloaded the iPhone version would still be able to use the service, but the offending version of the Android app has been disabled. At the time of publication, neither version was available on the App Store or Google Play.

BlackBerry Messenger woes

BBM For All“Our teams continue to work around the clock to bring BBM to Android and iPhone, but only when it’s ready and we know it will live up to your expectations of BBM,” said the company. “We are pausing the global roll-out of BBM for Android and iPhone.

“As soon as we are able, we will begin a staggered country roll-out of BBM for Android and continue the roll-out of BBM for iPhone. These issues have not impacted BBM service for BlackBerry.”

The Android application had been expect to launch on Android last Saturday, with the iPhone app following a day later, and was supposed to be the first time the messaging service was to be available on a platform other than BlackBerry smartphones.

The number of subscribers who apparently signed up for the service before its official release wil encourage BlackBerry, which has even reportedly considered spinning off its messaging division into a separate company following the dramatic decline of its hardware business.

On Friday, the company announced it was laying off 4,500 employees, around 40 percent of its workforce, and said it expected to lose as much as £624 million in its second quarter. It is believed BlackBerry is trying to make itself more appealing to potential buyers after it effectively inviting bids last month.

BlackBerry has had a bumpy year! Try our 2013 BlackBerry quiz!