Update: BlackBerry says it has pulled the leaked Android app, and has halted the rollout of the iOS app because demand caused “issues” with its servers.

Update 2: BlackBerry says BBM for Android and iOS won’t relaunch this week as blocking leaked app ‘will take some time’

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BlackBerry has finally released its BBM messaging service for iOS today. The app is currently available in a number of Asia-Pacific countries, including Malaysia, where it is past midnight on Sunday.

Jump to our overview: Hands-on with BlackBerry’s BBM app for iOS

The Android version is expected to drop very soon, leaked versions have already been spotted across the Web.

Earlier this week, the company announced plans to release the apps this weekend, but there’s been uncertainty since the Android version didn’t arrive at 7:00 am EST as scheduled. The iOS version was set for Sunday September 22.

This move is really a last throw of the dice from struggling BlackBerry, which long resisted calls to bring BBM to other platforms, preferring keep it exclusive to its own devices, in the hope of creating customer loyalty.

BlackBerry says there are over 60 million BBM users worldwide and 10 billion messages are sent and received daily, but that’s dwarfed by its rivals. WhatsApp has 300 million monthly active users who send 27 billion messages per day, while China’s WeChat has 235 million MAUs.

BlackBerry and Samsung have been pushing BBM hard in Africa — where BlackBerry smartphones remain popular, and the app could be significant for Samsung. The release is unlikely to impact other markets, where BlackBerry’s once-dominant market share continues to plummet — and that includes Asia.

➤ BBM for iOS (May not be available in all regions yet)

Headline image via Berrytokyo / Flickr

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