Kay de Mabior
There is little, if any, doubt that devout blackberry users will be suffering from the early stages of withdrawal, as we reach day three of the Blackberry blackout. Since the beginning of the week users of the popular device found that their email, instant messenger (BBM) and internet services have slowed, halted or became completely unavailable.
RIM, the company responsible for Blackberry, has been dealing with the outage and is now blaming it on a “core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure.” Users in Europe were the first to feel the effects of this crash, which eventually spread around the world. RIM went on to state that the malfunction was a result of a large backlog of data and claim that they “are now working to clear that backlog and restore normal service.”
These ongoing service disruptions are the worst of their kind, even surpassing a similar outage that swept North America in 2009, and comes on the week Apple prepares to release its iPhone 4S. After a plummet in share prices and a string of unfortunate quarterly results some investors are calling for a change in management, suspension and even a sale of the whole company. Some companies, who have subscriptions to RIM’s Secure Propriety Services, are opting out to explore alternative devices.
Frustrated users have been tweeting their anger, as RIM services continue their erratic substructure repairs. Entrepreneur and host of BBC TV series The Apprentice, Alan Sugar, tweeted his dismay at the fiasco, saying: “in all my years in the IT biz, I have never seen such an outage as experienced by Blackberry. I can’t understand why it is taking so long to fix.”
With over 70 million blackberry subscribers around the world, the way in which RIM deals with the ongoing outage will no doubt fault or further the company’s flagging reputation. The deluge of reactions on social networking sites suggest many users are considering a smartphone switch-up, creating new business opportunities for other smartphones such as Android’s Sony Ericson and Apple’s iPhone. RIM has not provided any recent information concerning the outage, but has apologized “for any inconvenience” and is promising to “continue to keep [users] informed.”