BlackBerry hits pause button on BBM rollout
Unknown issue causes indefinite delay in release of messaging platform to iOS, Android
BlackBerry has announced it is putting on hold the global launch of BBM for Android and iOS.
Users of both iPhones and Android handsets had expected to be able to download the popular instant-messaging app over the weekend from official app stores. Some Apple fans were able to do so and BlackBerry said they could continue to use the app.
An unreleased version of BBM for Android was posted online and downloaded by more than 1.1m users in eight hours, according to BlackBerry. The company said that version would be disabled.
"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," the company said on its corporate blog, without saying why the delay was necessary.
"As soon as we are able, we will begin a staggered country rollout of BBM for Android and continue the rollout of BBM for iPhone."
BlackBerry once ruled the business smartphone market, before launches of touchscreen handsets caused the industry to become a consumer-focused arena. The Canadian company has since seen revenue share plummet to 3% of global shipments in the second quarter of this year. BlackBerry is currently looking for a buyer for its business and assets, but most candidates have expressed interest mainly in the firm's keyboard patents, its operating system and BBM.