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BlackBerry Has More Problems, Delays Messaging App

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Monday's announcement that Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. will pay $4.7 billion to beleaguered BlackBerry (BBRY - Get Report)private, the Canadian communications company has to deal with yer another problem: the unauthorized released of a version of its upcoming BBM software for  Google's   (GOOG - Get Report) Android and Apple (AAPL - Get Report)iOS smartphones.

BlackBerry shares were losing 2.2% on that rather uncomfortable news, falling to $8.64 in New York trading.

According to a corporate blog posting an older, outdated version of the company's soon-to-be-released messaging application was posted on a number of Internet file sharing sites last week.

Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President in charge of BBM at BlackBerry wrote the hijacked software "resulted in volumes of data traffic orders of magnitude higher than normal for each active user and impacted the system in abnormal ways." The company had planned on releasing the approved app last weekend but decided to delay the rollout until experts realized "we could not block users of the unreleased version if we went ahead with the launch".

Blackberry engineers attempted to fix the problem over the weekend but realized "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.."

Bocking says the problem is a big one and a total block of the unreleased software will take time. The company is also in the process of bolstering its servers to handle any similar problems in the future.

No exact time frame for the approved software was disclosed.Earlier this year the BlackBerry officials had promised a summer release for the BBM app.

Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

To submit a news tip, send an email to: <a href=" mailto:tips@thestreet.com"> tips@thestreet.com</a>.
Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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