Skyfire halts BlackBerry browsing alpha

In the wake of a major leak, Skyfire temporarily pulls the plug on the BlackBerry alpha testing program for its popular alternative browser.

Updated July 28 at 9:45 a.m. PDT with more information about the leak.

On Monday afternoon, Skyfire announced it would put a temporary halt on its alpha program for BlackBerry. The makers of a popular alternative mobile browser for Symbian and Windows Mobile phones pulled the private testing program when they discovered earlier Monday that a nondisclosure agreement had been broken and the program's download link had been leaked.

Co-founder Nitin Bhandari wrote on Skyfire's blog, "During the time it was leaked, there were many BlackBerry users trying the alpha release on Curves, Storms, and other BlackBerry models--it was not intended for these devices."

This statement suggests the company might fear the possibility that negative press could plague the product before its sanctioned beta release. A Skyfire spokesperson told CNET that the leak was not internal.

Skyfire for BlackBerry alpha--leaked
This alpha photo was leaked last April.

This is not the first time Skyfire has had problems with overenthusiastic alpha testers. In April, screenshots of an even earlier-stage alpha build for BlackBerry hit the Web, much to Skyfire's consternation.

Skyfire has not said when it will reinstate the alpha testing program for its BlackBerry browser.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.