BlackBerry outages persist into third day, spread to North America

Oct 12, 2011 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer
This file photo taken Sept. 8, 2011, shows a BlackBerry smartphone using the "Messenger" service, in Berlin. BlackBerry users were hit with service disruptions to their smartphones for a second day on Tuesday Oct. 11, 2011 after an unexplained glitch cut off Internet and messaging services for large numbers of users across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. (AP Photo/dapd, Oliver Lang, File) GERMANY OUT AUSTRIA OUT SWITZERLAND OUT

BlackBerry users across the world were exasperated Wednesday as an outage of email, messaging and Internet services on the phones spread to the U.S. and Canada and stretched into the third day for Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa.

It was the biggest outage in years for BlackBerry users, and strained their relationship with an already tarnished brand. It came on the eve of the launch of a mighty competitor - a new iPhone model.

Research In Motion Ltd., the Canadian company that makes the phones, said a crucial link in its European infrastructure failed Monday, and a backup didn't work either. The underlying problem has been fixed, but a backlog of emails and messages has built up that the company has yet to work down.

Meanwhile, emails and messages from other regions to Europe are piling up in RIM's systems in the rest of the world, like letters clogging a mailbox. That's causing the outages in the U.S. and Asia, said David Yach, RIM's chief technology officer for software.

RIM is already struggling with delays in getting new phones out, a tablet that's been a dud and shares that are approaching a five-year low. In the latest quarter, it sold 10.6 million phones, down from 12.1 million the same period last year.

The duration of the latest outage could force large businesses to rethink their use of BlackBerrys, said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi. Many of them have stuck with the phones because of the quality and efficiency of its email system, but that's now in question, she said.

Consumers are having second thoughts too. Andrew Mills, a child abuse investigator for the state of Arkansas, said he'd been thinking of getting some other smartphone for a while, and the outage was the "nail in the coffin" for him.

The 27-year-old has used BlackBerrys for five years, but friends and family have abandoned them, and he's set to do so in a few weeks. "From what I can see on their new phones they're not doing anything that's competing with Droid and iPhone," he said.

In the United Arab Emirates, the two biggest phone companies said they would compensate their BlackBerry users for the mishap by giving them at least three days of free service. Matthew Willsher, chief marketing officer for Etisalat, the country's biggest telecom, said it was acting in response to the "exceptional and unprecedented circumstances."

Unlike other cellphone makers, RIM handles email and messaging traffic to and from its phones. That allows it to provide services that other phones don't have, optimize data service and provide top-class security. But when it encounters a problem, a large share of the 70 million BlackBerry subscribers worldwide can be affected all at once. BlackBerry outages tend to occur several times a year, but they usually last for less than a day.

One of the BlackBerry's big attractions is the BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM, which works like text messaging but doesn't incur extra fees. That service was affected by the outage, and to make matters worse for RIM, Apple Inc. is releasing software Wednesday for its iPhones that works like BBM. The iPhone 4S will be released on Friday. Competition from Apple is one of the chief causes of RIM's diminishing fortunes.

RIM shares fell 51 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $23.90 in afternoon trading in New York as major indexes rose. The shares hit $19.29 a week ago, the lowest level since 2006.

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User comments : 4

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Doc_aymz
not rated yet Oct 12, 2011
I don't understand how this can happen. They have ISO accreditation for business continuity and data assurance. Its obviously all worth nothing. If they loose what customers they have left they deserve to be punished and have proved that they are not worthy to be trusted with peoples data.
omatumr
1 / 5 (4) Oct 12, 2011
Thanks for the intriguing news.

I certainly do not know what is happening.

Does someone not want information spread via Blackberry of Big Brother's fingerprints being recognized in diverse places?

a.) Earth's heat source, the Sun [1].

b.) Earth's surface temperature [1].

c.) Events of 911 [2].

1. Earth's heat source and surface temperatures

http://noconsensu...hinking/

2. Events of 911

www.physorg.com/n...ers.html

We have been richly blessed with a strange curse.

"May you live in interesting times!"

OM

http://myprofile....anuelo09

http://dl.dropbox...reer.pdf
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 12, 2011
"I certainly do not know what is happening." - OmaTard

A sad statement that has been true all of your life.

jsdarkdestruction
1 / 5 (1) Oct 12, 2011
Oliver, do you not know of phase 2 of the plan? see kissinger and nixon knew about neutron repulsion and it being the main source of the suns and the universes power but chairman mao did not. as the world all followed their lead in the conspiracy they said it was to prevent nuclear war. however under the guise of that the united states had different reasons. as the climatoligists/scientists destroy our economy and power while funneling money to third world nations for supportung the scam the chinese will soon grow too strong and overpopulated for anyone but the us to even have a chance of stopping the chinese from taking over the world, at that moment neutron repulsion will be officially "discovered" and cheap easy neutron repulsion energy will be used both to power production of weapons and supplies and as weapons of mass destruction themselves in neutron repulsion bombs. saving the united states and allowing us to finally take over the whole world without looking like the bad guys...