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BlackBerry suffers BBM delays, plans to abandon Qwerty

Beleaguered BlackBerry has seen a BBM problem, and admitted BBX will abandon the traditional BlackBerry design.

Beleaguered BlackBerry has had another black day as users found their messages delayed yesterday. And in a move that may be unpopular with fans, BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion has hinted that forthcoming BBX phones will abandon the traditional BlackBerry design.

It seems messages sent via the popular BlackBerry Messenger app were delayed in reaching their destination. Research in Motion admitted on Twitter, "We're getting reports that some users are experiencing delays. We're investigating and will update you ASAP."

A few hours later BlackBerry announced the service was now running fine, but hasn't offered an explanation for the BBM delay.

While not a full-blown outage, the delayed messages will have annoyed many users still smarting from the recent calamitous failure of the BlackBerry network. Server problems and a failed back-up system meant BlackBerry owners across the world were without Internet connection or BlackBerry Messenger for several days.

RIM offered free apps as compensation for the outage, but no refund.

It's not the only problem facing RIM today: Google has decided to pull the Gmail app from BlackBerry App World.

In other news, RIM has offered a teasing insight to future BlackBerry devices. The company is getting set to unveil a new operating system, BBX, and has suggested BBX devices won't look like traditional BlackBerry phones.

Instead of the Qwerty-keyboard packing BlackBerry Bold 9900 and its ilk, BBX phones will be more like mini versions of the BlackBerry PlayBook. They'll have touchscreens in 16:9 aspect ratio with 1,024x600-pixel resolution. That sounds good to us, but may alienate CrackBerry users who love their physical keyboard.

The first BBX phone is expected to be the BlackBerry Colt.