BlackBerry Ltd decided to postpone the scheduled release of the iOS and Android versions for its popular messaging service. The Canadian smartphone manufacturer previously announced the rolling out of its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service for users of the two platforms on September 21 (Android) and September 22 (iOS).
The company is yet to make any announcement about the new release dates for the two new BBM versions. But it said it now plans to mount a staggered rollout globally for the services. It did not give further details.
Overwhelming response to leaked version
BlackBerry said it decided to put the scheduled release on hold after a leaked version of the new software surfaced online just hours before the BBM for Android launch. That unofficial version was an incomplete one but it was not clear if it was authentic.
Interestingly, the leaked version of BBM for Android was downloaded by over 1.1 million people within just eight hours. The copy of the unofficial version was posted through Google Play. The text description that came with it gave away the fact that it was an unauthorized version. That was because the content did not make sense.
However, in a statement, the company said it was touched by the warm reception of the public to the release. Unfortunately, that leaked version brought about many issues that may have to be resolved first before the official version of BBM services for both platforms would be released.
Putting BBM to non-BlackBerry devices
BlackBerry also announced that users who have already downloaded the service for iPhone would still be able to use BBM. But it had to disable the unreleased Android app. Those who have already downloaded BBM for Android through Google Play should visit www.BBM.com for necessary registration so they could be updated on the service’s availability.
BBM was among the first ever mainstream instant messaging and communication services introduced for smartphones. Originally, the app came preloaded on BlackBerry devices. Users are allowed to call, text, share screens, and enjoy video chats with all other users of BlackBerry devices. The service could be accessed if the device is online through 3G or Wi-Fi.
So far, even without the potential users from iOS and Android platforms, BBM has already generated up to 60 million users worldwide. BlackBerry is logically aiming to extend the usefulness of the app to iPhone and Android phone users with the hope that it could eventually encourage more users to purchase BlackBerry devices.