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BlackoutBerry: Outages Rock RIM’s BlackBerry Smartphones, Users Are Outraged

Posted on the 12 October 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost
BlackoutBerry: Outages rock RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones, users are outraged

The end for BlackBerry? Photo credit: leondel

Millions of users across the globe have been without their BlackBerry data services. Owners of the smartphone have been unable to fully access their emails, the internet, and services such as BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for three days, after problems at the company’s UK hub in Slough lead to global service outages. The smartphone maker, Research In Motion (RIM) has blamed “a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure” and apologised for the inconvenience, the Guardian reported. BlackBerry phones are primary marketed towards business users, although they also have a strong teenage following, keen on the immediacy of BBM communication. The problems, which coincide with the release of a new iPhone and iOS (the Apple equivalent of the RIM operating system), will be seen as a major blow to the reliable reputation BlackBerry has developed.

The Twitterati are outraged. A diverse collection of BlackBerry users have taken to twitter to voice their outrage. Vociferous footballer Joey Barton lead the way, with “BlackBerry is knackered again, maybe it’s time for an iphone?????” Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former communications chief, helpfully offered “some free advice. Explain while you fix. Apologise when you have. Recompense after. Handling so far woeful.”

“Massive damage to [BlackBerry’s] image,” tweeted Lord Alan Sugar.

Masterclass in bad PR. Tom Chivers, writing for The Telegraph, found “entertainment” in the PR collapse of the mobile phone giant. He was astonished by RIM’s lack of communication with its panicked public. The company has, he said, failed to explain the issues on its blogs, and found the “impenetrable messages” being trotted out by the company on Twitter even more disheartening.

Compensation. “Users today demanded compensation”, reported Mark Prigg of The Evening Standard. He warned that, with many corporate organisations relying heavily on their BlackBerrys, RIM’s future “hangs in the balance.”

Awful timing. Scott Martin from USA Today warned that this is just the latest in a stream of major problems for RIM. He reported that “stock in the once-highflying company has plummeted 65%”, and said that RIM’s foray into the tablet market has not been successful. He also quoted Jaguar CEO Vic Alboini calling for a change of leadership at RIM. Talking about the current RIM CEOs, he suggested, “It is time to move on.”

Good news for Apple. The International Business Times said that this “could not have come at a better time for Apple,” one of BlackBerry’s main competitors, as they today launch their new operating system, iOS5, which offers a number of new features designed specifically to combat BlackBerry’s appeal, such as the iMessenger. Chivers also commented, “it’s hard to imagine a crisis like this enveloping Apple.”

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