Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry “paused” the rollout of its BBM app for Android and iOS, after “issues” were caused by an earlier, unreleased version of the Android title.
The company has not said when the official titles will be released, but stated it is not anticipating this will happen “this week”.
In a blog post, BlackBerry said that prior to the launch of BBM for Android, an unreleased version was made available online via “numerous file sharing sites”. This app had problems which “resulted in volumes of data traffic orders of magnitude higher than normal for each active user and impacted the system in abnormal ways”.
Andrew Bocking, head of BBM, noted: “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 rollout for both Android and iPhone”.
BlackBerry said that “the team is now focused on adjusting the system to completely block this unreleased version of the Android app when we go live with the official BBM for Android app”, as well as making sure its systems are reinforced to handle future problems.
On one level, there is a positive from this for BlackBerry: despite the widespread availability of social messaging apps, there is clearly still demand for BlackBerry Messenger.
But following a poor quarter, the company has opted to refocus on its enterprise and prosumer markets – meaning that BBM is no longer an obvious fit.
With BlackBerry in the midst of a strategic review which could see it broken up and/or sold, there have previously been reports that a spin-out of the BBM unit is a possibility.