BlackBerry halts BBM rollout, pulls app, blames Android leak

BlackBerry halts BBM rollout, pulls app, blames Android leak

BlackBerry has halted the planned rollout of their BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app for iPhone and Android, and pulled it from those regional App Stores that already launched it, like New Zealand. BlackBerry blamed the situation on server-side problems that resulted from a version of the Android app being leaked online. That reportedly generated 1.1 million downloads, which does show interest, but also highlights how real-world scale is different than anything you see in the labs. Here's the official announcement from BlackBerry:

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 to register for updates on official BBM for Android availability.

As soon as we are able, we will begin a staggered country roll-out of BBM for Android and continue the roll-out of BBM for iPhone. Please follow @BBM on Twitter for the latest updates and go to to sign-up for updates about BBM for Android and iPhone. These issues have not impacted BBM service for BlackBerry.

There is way too much face to palm here. BlackBerry obviously know how important this launch is, but a) there doesn't appear to have been any wide scale beta test, which shows a terrifying lack of appreciation for the freight-train that is iOS and Android user bases, b) they hadn't even compiled BBM for iOS 7, which shows a terrifying lack of attention to detail for a platform that prides itself on just that attention.

I desperately want BlackBerry to nail BBM's multi-platform launch. I don't want to be more desperate about it than the people building the app. So, to make the best of a shitty situation, fix the app, get an expedited review, and then come back with something great for everyone who went from BlackBerry to iPhone and wants their BBM back, and for every potential iPhone owner still looking for a great IM experience that could be won over.

Get it right, dammit.

Source: BlackBerry

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

BlackBerry halts BBM rollout, pulls app, blames Android leak


*SIGH*. As a former BES admin and former BlackBerry user, I was looking forward to installing BBM on my iPhone tomorrow.

Gotta give them a little slack here. Been a long time since there was any large scale interest in a blackberry product. And the company and app in its entirety is different then it was back then.

Think of this as a brand new startup company.

So true. As a former BB fanboy converted to iPhone fanboy, I remember being so frustrated on a number of occasions by their lateness. Every time we would be excited about something (product launch, new OS, etc.) it seemed to be delayed. One of the reasons I eventually jumped ship. That and the fact that their App World is atrocious.

Download it., everything is nice, the design is good, its a great app, personally think its gonna be huge.
but for now i can't add contact from blackberry user, so far my bbm contact is ios user only.,maybe thats why they pull the app.

Cmon blackberry, your final reputation is on the line here

I hope that what happened with the launch of BBM because of the leaked Android's app will send a clear MESSAGE For Blackberry and Google about why we are loyal to APPLE and could understand why APPLE always having huge lines out of their store when new product inside,

I didn't try BBM and not dying for it, and I already knew that it will come without IOS7 support plus it will take long to to update it ... maybe when we are ready for IOS8

Exactly the same situation on phones than on computers, if you blame one in one case you also blame the other.

Apple have their fair share of software that is pulled. Most recent Apple TV update was pulled. You can't download the update.

excuses, excuses and more excuses; if they hadn't got it right why in the world they announced the release date. hey thorsten, focus on delivering your words instead of trying to sell your sorry-ass company for more $$$

That isn't 100% fair, or at least non biased. So far iOS 7 or my 5s are giving me a world of problems. Battery goes dead in less than 4 hours, plus, I can't download any song purchases from the cloud. Lots of tech has issues at launch. Most developers for games consider players to be paying beta testers.

While some people want BlackBerry to nail BBM's multi-platform launch, I admit I did too. I now want BB to just roll over and die. Blackberry has become a major train wreck. The only thing really keeping Blackberry alive is BES and the reluctance of government and large corporations and businesses to abandon BES and invest in another infrastructure.

I hope you're not a Canadian. I get sad when i hear stuff like this come from a Canadian's mouth. For all the good they've done for our economy, and putting Canada on the map as a global IT leader, people sure do give them a lot of crap. I suppose patriotism is just a lie... at least in Canada. Makes me sad...

Uh dude think before you type, one of the benefits of not having to speak.
It's probably due to such patriotism for Canada that we want BB to succeed. But when a company becomes so complacent (BBM release for summer and does it on the very last day of summer), screws up a launch, with no clear deadlines, it makes one wanna hit the wall. I as a Canadian want them to live somehow, but things like this make you really lose faith.

maybe this will give them time to update the keyboard it iOS7 instead of the one from iOS6. love blackberrys attention to detail! LOL

I think it's a good thing.... people just don't seem to appreciate BlackBerry anyways. iPhones are crap, especially when it comes to battery life "Crapple" sucks @ having good battery life.... So I say "eh" to the situation

I don't agree that it should have been COMPILED for iOS7, Rene, as that would mean no-one with an earlier version of iOS can use it.

It should, obviously, have been TESTED on iOS7, is that what you meant?

Based on the recent news that with the layoff of 4,500 staff they are effectively pulling out of the consumer market, why are they even still pursuing BBM for consumer phones?

Because they know their future, if they are to have one, will be as an enterprise service provider. Don't they have a mail/calendar/contacts app (like Good for Enterprise) for iOS and Android in the works, too?

They know they have a loyal BES install base. If they can leverage that and build services, they can restructure and potentially thrive.

oh well ..... they're trying to get some attention so potential bidders (if any!) go a little higher than a few million $$ for the whole company!

BlackBerry has demonstrated to the world that the company is indeed a colossal failure.

They were successful in building a certain amount of positive momentum for this launch, but have now shown that it's not worthwhile to board a sinking ship.

Maybe in some twisted way, they are hoping that this 'pause' gives the product more hype.

"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. "
Well, Android users love FREE stuff and for that matter .... they download whatever they can get their hands on whether it's shitty or not .... as long as it's FREE!

Then, play with it for a few minutes ... and some try to hack it see what's going on!

When all done ... they go back to playgoogle ... or whatever crap it's called and look for the NEXT FREE thing!


Well after changing my region I got it install on my iPhone 4S w/ iOS 7 now just need mor BBM pin

Sent from the iMore App

To be honest, I have no idea what everyone's so excited about. I don't know a single person that uses BBM, and as I understand it, it's only about security. Who cares who sees what I text my wife about dinner, or my boss about taking time off. Or my sister or anyone else for that matter.

People are so weird about security stuff, when if they actually took the time to think about it, it really isn't as big of a deal as its made out to be. Usually (excepting the case of PSN or the Apple iPad hack) the "security breaches" are completely POC, or at most harvest usernames/emails, SOMETIMES passwords. That's why they make 1Password so you can have different passwords for each site.

Anyhow, end result is again, who cares about BBM. Good riddance. Auction off BB's patents and tech to the highest bidder and let's move mobile tech forward some more.

For a lot of people BBM isn't all about security. There was a time when RIM was king. Everybody who had a smartphone had a Blackberry. All our contacts were in BBM because they all had Blackberries! We weren't all split up over different platforms like we are now, getting robbed by carriers with their text packages. Although I could never go back to using a Blackberry I did love BBM. Think of BBM as a way some of us to relive those good old days! It sounds corny and sentimental but a lot of people will be drawn to BBM for that reason. It's like "getting the band back together" after 10 or 15 years. Lol!

I think the point, about security, is that I don't want anyone looking at anything in my phone without my permission. This is especially true if you do banking, sext, or even list your address in your messages. We do so much on our mobile devices that it would be child's play to rob us all blind, if someone can get unauthorized access to data on your mobile device. If the government can look at your private stuff, so can criminals. Also, people are anxious for BBM not only because they want to talk to the 1 or 2 BlackBerry device owners that we may know, but from my experience, it truly is the most superior instant messaging platform that I've used, despite the poor management of the company. If you haven't used it yet, no offense, but you truly wouldn't understand.

Sent from the iMore App

Likewise, I dont honestly know of anyone with a BB anymore. I had a couple and loved BBM 3 years ago though.

Im really hopeing that this will be the same or even better bbm from my Blackberry days. But this is the same type of B.S. that we always had to deal with concerning updates, upgrades and release dates. I mean really, you guys couldnt forsee any these issues that might arise? Good ridence to the idiots that ran the company into the ground but Bbm, push email, battery, keyboard ...... I do miss and wish could be used on other platforms. Blackberry had a great product, especially for business. Its the idiots that run the business that suck.

Blackberry and Windows is best for Business and gov't people. Apple and Android is best for regulars. BBM will come soon. Get over it, god.