BlackBerry's big rollout of BBM for iOS and Android was due to start today, with the Android version planned to be available earlier this morning. Unfortunately, the app never made it to the Google Play Store, leaving those who've been waiting for it to arrive in the dark as to where it might be. The company has now announced that it is pausing the launch of both the Android and iOS versions of the app (the iOS app was scheduled to come tomorrow, and has already been available in some regions), as it sorts out issues caused by a leaked version of the Android app.
BlackBerry says that it has tried to address the problems caused by the leaked app throughout the day, but to no avail (allegedly, more than 1.1 million users have already downloaded it), requiring it to halt its launch plans. The company says that those that have already downloaded the iOS version of the app will still be able to use it, but it will not be releasing it to any new markets at this time. The leaked version of the Android app will be disabled.
No word on when the rollout will restart
The next step in BlackBerry's plans for BBM is to stage a "staggered country roll-out" for BBM for Android and restart the rollout for iOS. BlackBerry did not give a timeline for this new rollout, only saying "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."
BBM for iOS and Android was announced back in May at the BlackBerry Live conference, and the company had committed to a launch before the end of this summer. Its original plan to deploy the app this weekend just barely made that timeframe, but thanks to the problems that have come up, it doesn't look like it will be able to fulfill its original promise. With news of massive losses, major layoffs, and a refocus of the company's efforts on enterprise business instead of consumers hitting just this week, today's events are just another blow to an already battered company.