Latest BlackBerry woes caused by email backlog

Oct 12, 2011 by Michel Comte

Three days of BlackBerry outages that spread to North America on Wednesday are being caused by a backlog of emails from Europe, the system's under-pressure owners said.

Facing anger from millions of customers starved of instant access to emails and messaging, Research In Motion (RIM) said it was working hard to fix the problem and insisted no messages would be lost.

RIM said an initial technical failure had prompted a build-up of messages in its network, triggering a cascade of problems around the world that affected many of the firm's 70 million subscribers.

"It is a backlog issue," RIM software vice president David Yach said, ruling out any rumors of sabotage or hacking.

"I know there is often speculation in these types of situation about a potential breach or a hack as the cause but we have seen no evidence to believe that this is the case," said Yach.

"Clearly we have a backlog in Europe," he said, "as you can imagine, with the global reach of BlackBerry and people using it to contact others around the world, there's a lot of messages to Europe from Asia and the Americas," he added.

"Over time that backlog has built up and affected our other systems."

RIM had earlier said "a core switch failure" and the breakdown of a backup switch had hit messaging, emails and Internet browsing in Europe, the Middle East and Africa on Monday.

Despite RIM's initial claim late Monday that the problem had been solved, the Canadian firm acknowledged Tuesday that some users in those areas, as well as in India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina, were experiencing messaging and browsing delays.

On Wednesday the firm confirmed the problems had spread to Canada and the United States.

The snowballing outages are the latest problem to beset the Canadian firm, which has faced weaker sales of the BlackBerry smartphone against rivals like Apple's iPhone, various models from HTC, and other handsets running Google's Android software.

In September merchant bank and activist shareholder Jaguar Financial began pressing for a shake-up in RIM's management, or a sale, merger or break-up of the company.

On Tuesday, Jaguar announced that it had the backing of eight percent of RIM shareholders for its proposal to split the company into three groups: a network company, a device company, and a patent company.

Shares in RIM, which have lost nearly 60 percent of their value this year, were down another 2.2 percent on the NASDAQ and 3.5 percent in Toronto at the close of markets Wednesday.

Market analysts said the hit this week was likely temporary.

"While this is a negative in the near term, particularly with high-profile smartphone launches coming from a major competitor, we view it only as a short-term disruption," said James Moorman of S&P Capital IQ.

"Despite competition from other smartphone launches, we continue to believe RIM will see solid smartphone volume in the near-term as carriers stock the new BB7 smartphones."

Explore further: Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

BlackBerry woes caused by 'core switch failure'

Oct 11, 2011

(AP) -- Email and messaging glitches that have plagued BlackBerry users around the world for a second day were caused by a core switch failure, the smartphone's maker said Tuesday. ...

BlackBerry services hit for second day

Oct 11, 2011

(AP) -- BlackBerry users across Europe, the Middle East and Africa were hit with service disruptions to their smartphones for a second day after an unexplained glitch cut off Internet and messaging services for ...

Recommended for you

Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

Apr 17, 2014

A service is soon to launch in the UK that will enable us to transfer money to other people using just their name and mobile number. Paym is being hailed as a revolution in banking because you can pay peopl ...

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

Apr 16, 2014

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

Apr 16, 2014

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

Dish Network denies wrongdoing in $2M settlement

Apr 15, 2014

The state attorney general's office says Dish Network Corp. will reimburse Washington state customers about $2 million for what it calls a deceptive surcharge, but the satellite TV provider denies any wrongdoing.

Netflix's Comcast deal improves quality of video

Apr 14, 2014

Netflix's videos are streaming through Comcast's Internet service at their highest speeds in the past 17 months now that Netflix is paying for a more direct connection to Comcast's network.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...