BlackBerry delays BBM's release after false start

BlackBerry is delaying the release of versions of BBM for Android and iOS

BlackBerry has delayed the rollout of Android and iOS versions of its popular BlackBerry Messenger app, which was expected to be available for the additional platforms this weekend.

According to a statement on the company blog, an unreleased version of BBM for Android was leaked online before BlackBerry officially offered it for download. BlackBerry said that more than 1.1 million downloads occurred today, causing "issues" and prompting the company to delay availability. BlackBerry has said it will release BBM through Google Play and Apple's App Store.

It is disabling the prematurely released Android app, and suggests the early downloaders should visit the BBM site to register for updates on its official availability, which will occur "as soon as we are able," according to the statement. BBM service for BlackBerry devices was not affected, according to the company.

BlackBerry announced last week that it would make Android for BBM available on September 21 and BlackBerry for iPhone on September 22. The company had disclosed its plan several weeks ago.

It's been a tough week for BlackBerry. The beleaguered phone company still has its fans, and clearly its multiplatform release of BBM drew interest. But BlackBerry continues to lose market share to those rival platforms, and on Friday it announced nearly a $1 billion operating loss for the second quarter and projected 4500 job cuts.

The company acknowledged "the interest and enthusiasm we have seen already" but said in its blog that BBM for Android and iPhone would be available "only when it's ready and we know it will live up to your expectations of BBM."

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Peggy Watt

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