BlackBerry just announced that it is finally able to resume the rollout of BBM for Android and iPhone around the globe.
Specifically, consumers will see BBM available as a free download in Google Play and Apple's App Store sometime in "the next few hours". BlackBerry has even set up a "line-up system" to ensure a smooth, worldwide rollout.
Just visit BBM.com from an Android or iPhone browser and install the app. Once it's installed, open the app, and then enter your email address to hold a spot in line. Although BlackBerry called this process unprecedented, the Dropbox-acquired Mailbox app launched in a similar fashion earlier this year.
BlackBerry will email users as soon as they "reach the front of the line" and can start using BBM. Those who already signed up at BBM.com can start using BBM without waiting in line, but those who didn't go the advanced sign-up route will need to enter the queue.
BlackBerry also clarified that Samsung customers in Sub-Sahara Africa can download BBM today from the Samsung Apps store, though iPhone and other Android users in Africa will need to wait another three days before downloading.
Final versions of BBM for Android and iPhone, which should have released last month, were still not available as of this morning, and BlackBerry had blamed the delay on complications caused by the unauthorised leaking of an Android version.
"As you know, in just seven hours, about one million Android users were using the unreleased version of BBM for Android," wrote BBM head Andrew Bocking on BlackBerry's blog. "What you don’t know is that more than one million people have found creative ways to 'side load' BBM on their iPhone. This is incredible."
Bocking previously revealed in September that BlackBerry was aware that an “unreleased, older version of BBM for Android” was posted on file sharing sites - and that it “impacted the system in abnormal ways” because of higher-than-normal data traffic.
The executive said the official version of BBM would address those issues when finally released, and it now appears the line-up system announced today is the company's solution.
BlackBerry Messenger - also known as BBM - is an instant messenger client included on BlackBerry devices. BlackBerry originally revealed in May that BBM for iOS and Android would release in 2013, marking the first time the client would be available on competing hardware.