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Deutsche Telekom indefinitely delays Joyn launch date, admits to technical issues

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Deutsche Telekom (DT) is indefinitely delaying the commercial launch of its Joyn RCS service after admitting that implementing the technology is taking much longer than originally expected.

The company had initially confirmed Oct. 1, 2012, as a launch date for Joyn services, but this then slipped to December and has now been delayed further due to complex integration issues, according to Teltarif.de.

Incorporating the Joyn software into DT's handset portfolio is a lengthy process that requires thorough testing, DT spokesman Dirk Wende told Wirtschafts Woche. "Our goal is, of course, to move as quickly as possible to bring Joyn to market," he said.

The problems appear to be focused on the Joyn messenger service and its lack of stability, the German website reported.

While the aim is to launch Joyn on Android-based handsets, DT is worried about the current fragmentation of the Google smartphone platform and ensuring that its Joyn services will work with other German operators and those elsewhere.

Vodafone Germany launched its Joyn service in August at the IFA event in Berlin--albeit in beta format on the Android platform, but has given no indication when an iPhone version might become available. Telefónica's O2 Germany has said it is committed to launching Joyn in the future, while E-Plus has given no sign regarding its intent.

Separately, WhatsApp, a major over-the-top messaging and social messaging rival to Joyn, has been criticised for breaching privacy rules following a joint investigation by Dutch and Canadian regulators, according to a BBC report.

Investigators said concerns centred on the messaging app asking smartphone users to enable access to their address book once they had downloaded the WhatsApp software. The privacy issue arose when the app transferred users' address book details to the WhatsApp servers, and failed to delete those belonging to people who had not signed up to the service.

"This practice contravenes Dutch and Canadian privacy law, which holds that information may only be retained for so long as it is required for the fulfilment of an identified purpose," the regulators said, according to the BBC.

The Dutch Data Protection Authority told the BBC it could take punitive action if U.S.-based WhatsApp does not change its software.

For more:
- see this Teltarif.de article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Wirtschafts Woche (translated via Google Translate)
- see this BBC article

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