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Rogue app delays BlackBerry's BBM for Android, iOS release even further

The rollout of BlackBerry Messenger for iOS and Android will be delayed until at least next week, after a fake version of BBM for Android overwhelmed the Canadian phone maker's network.

"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," Andrew Bocking, executive vice president of BBM, wrote in a blog post.

"We are also making sure that the system is reinforced to handle this kind of scenario in the future. While this may sound like a simple task – it's not. This will take some time and I do not anticipate launching this week."

BBM for iOS and Android was scheduled to launch over the weekend, but before they had a chance to launch, an unreleased, older version of the BBM for Android was posted on file-sharing sites.

"This older version resulted in volumes of data traffic orders of magnitude higher than normal for each active user and impacted the system in abnormal ways," Bocking wrote. "The version we were planning to release on Saturday addressed these issues, however we could not block users of the unreleased version if we went ahead with the launch."

It seems that Android users were eager to download BBM: "active users of the unreleased app neared a million," by Saturday afternoon. But unfortunately for the troubled BlackBerry, users were nabbing the wrong version, forcing the company to pause the rollout for Android and iPhone.

Bocking promised updates on the BlackBerry blog and via the @BBM Twitter feed. Those who pre-registered on will get a notice when the correct version of BBM goes live.

"Thank you for your patience while we take the time needed to deliver the experience you expect from BBM," Bocking concluded.

BlackBerry first announced a free version of BBM for Android and iOS in May, and an Android beta followed in early August. Several weeks later, there were rumours that BlackBerry would spin off its BBM division into a separate business, but yesterday, BlackBerry said a consortium led by Fairfax Financial would acquire the company for $4.7 billion (£2.9 billion) and take it private.

The BBM glitch is yet another black eye for BlackBerry, which also announced recently that it would cut 4,500 employees, or 40 per cent of its workforce.