BBM for iPhone and Android halted… for now

BlackBerry Q5

BlackBerry Q5

Things are not going well for BlackBerry this weekend. First it announced that it will be laying off around 4 500 members of staff then its much awaited messenger app (BBM) doesn’t quite launch for other operating systems as promised.

BlackBerry has pulled its BBM app from Apple’s App Store and it seems the Android version never made it Google’s Play store. According to a blog post from the handset manufacturer, an unreleased Android version of the app was leaked which caused a number of issues.

Prior to launching BBM for Android, an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app was posted online. The interest and enthusiasm we have seen already – more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours without even launching the official Android app – is incredible. Consequently, this unreleased version caused issues, which we have attempted to address throughout the day.

The company did however release the iPhone version in several regions before deciding to pull the app completely. BlackBerry hasn’t been 100% clear as to what happened but says its teams are working on a solution and should release the popular messenger app as soon as possible. For now iPhone users who downloaded the app before it was pulled will still be able to use it, though the Android app as been disabled.

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. Please follow @BBM on Twitter for the latest updates and go to to sign-up for updates about BBM for Android and iPhone. These issues have not impacted BBM service for BlackBerry.

Blackberry hasn’t given a definite date when the app will be ready but says it is working round the clock to solve the problems the unofficially released app caused.

Users don’t seem to be taking the news that well and have taken to Twitter to express their frustrations for the mobile phone maker to see.

Update: Head of BBM, Andrew Bocking, has provided some additional details about the failed roll out:

Last week, an unreleased, older version of the BBM for Android app was posted on numerous file sharing sites. We were aware of an issue with this unreleased version of the BBM for Android app. This older version resulted in volumes of data traffic orders of magnitude higher than normal for each active user and impacted the system in abnormal ways. The version we were planning to release on Saturday addressed these issues, however we could not block users of the unreleased version if we went ahead with the launch.

We attempted to address the problems caused by the unreleased version throughout the day on Saturday, but as active users of the unreleased app neared a million – and accelerated – it became clear that the only way to address the issue was to pause the roll out for both Android and iPhone.

BlackBerry has yet to provide an estimate about when it expects to continue the release of the apps, but Bocking says he does not “anticipate launching this week.”



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