Versions of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for Android and iOS mobile devices, which had been scheduled for release late last month, are still not available. The Canadian company has said the new releases are not ready because of complications caused by the unauthorized leaking of an Android version.

BlackBerry has said in a statement that its 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.” At its Web page for BBM, the company features an email signup to receive a notice when the software will be available for Android and iPhone.

In a September 23 posting on the official BlackBerry blog on Inside BlackBerry, BBM head Andrew Bocking said that the company was aware that an “unreleased, older version of BBM for Android” had been posted on numerous file sharing sites. He said that this unofficial version “impacted the system in abnormal ways” because it generated volumes of data traffic much higher than normal. The official version, Bocking added, will address such issues.

‘Only Way’

He indicated that BlackBerry attempted to address unspecified problems with the unauthorized version throughout Saturday, September 21, the day that the Android version was scheduled for release. But, Bocking said, “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.”

The BlackBerry development team, he reported, is now working to completely block this authorized version when the official Android version goes live, and to make sure it is reinforced to handle such situations in the future. He also said that, while it might sound like a simple task, “it’s not.”

According to reports on the Web, BBM for Android and iOS are now in new, closed beta testings. There have also been rumors that BlackBerry intends to drop the Android and iOS versions altogether, but other reports, quoting unnamed sources at BlackBerry, say that the releases were still being planned.

The Valuable BBM

If the releases of the Android and iOS versions involve a great deal more development, BlackBerry could be weighing its options. The company wants to increase or at least maintain the value of its constituent parts, which will be important if the entire company is sold off or if it is broken apart and sold as components.

A $4.7 billion bid for the company has been made by Fairfax Financial Holdings, pending a due diligence period, and BlackBerry is also actively seeking out, or engaged in talks with, a variety of major technology companies about the possibility of a buyout, including Cisco, SAP, Samsung, LG, Intel, and Google.

One of the most valuable components in any sale could be the popular BBM. At one time, BlackBerry had considered setting up a subsidiary specifically to handle that service. There are an estimated 60 million active monthly users of the service, who spend an average of 90 minutes every day on BBM. But Fairfax has indicated that, if it is successful in its bid, it intends to re-orient BlackBerry toward the business market, which could leave a consumer-oriented property like BBM in doubt.