BlackBerry has been forced to halt its global roll out of BBM for Android and iOS, after an unofficial version of the Android app was posted online this weekend.
As the Waterloo-based company began rolling out in various territories around the world, an build of the Android app was posted online, prompting a rush among former BlackBerry loyalists to obtain the app.
The unofficial version of the app was downloaded 1.1 million times in just 8 hours, but caused the company issues it spent most of Saturday attempting to resolve.
As a result, the iOS rollout, which began in New Zealand yesterday, has been paused. The official Android release is still MIA, while the unofficial version has been disabled.
In a post on the official Inside BlackBerry blog, Luke Reimer wrote: "Prior to launching BBM for Android, an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app was posted online. The interest and enthusiasm we have seen already – more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours without even launching the official Android app – is incredible. Consequently, this unreleased version caused issues, which we have attempted to address throughout the day."
"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. We are pausing the global roll-out of BBM for Android and iPhone. Customers who have already downloaded BBM for iPhone will be able to continue to use BBM. The unreleased Android app will be disabled, and customers who downloaded it should visit www.BBM.com to register for updates on official BBM for Android availability."
The unfortunate situation is a blow for BlackBerry, whose long-awaited roll-out of BBM to other platforms was set to be a rare sunny moment for the ailing company.
On Friday the company posted grim financials, announced it was moving away from the consumer market and cutting 4,500 jobs - around 40 per cent of its total workforce. The end seems nigh.