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10/12/2011
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RIM BlackBerry Outages Day 3: U.S. Hit

Research In Motion said that key pieces of hardware have failed, causing its BlackBerry services to be knocked offline for a third day.

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Teardown
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Teardownr
A growing number of BlackBerry users are without service again Wednesday, admitted RIM, as it works furiously to restore its systems to customers across parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

Late Tuesday RIM said, "The messaging and browsing delays that some of you are still experiencing were caused by a core switch failure in RIM's infrastructure. Although the system is designed to failover to a backup switch, the backup did not function as previously tested."

RIM did not say where the switch and its failsafe are located, but previous reports noted they are located in the United Kingdom. The failure then led to a crushing logjam and messages, emails, and browsing requests all came to a halt.

"As a result, a large backlog of data was generated and we are now working to clear that backlog and restore normal service as quickly as possible," the company said.

[It has been a rough year for RIM. Read RIM Reports Falling Revenue, Profits.]

RIM indicated that it expected the problem to be resolved by Wednesday morning. It hasn't been. RIM issued a follow-up statement Wednesday saying, "We know that many of you are still experiencing service problems. The resolution of this service problem is our number one priority right now and we are working night and day to restore BlackBerry services to normal levels."

Worse, the problem has spread.

Where the initial outages affected BlackBerry services in Europe and Africa, they have now reached South and North America. "BlackBerry subscribers in the Americas may be experiencing intermittent service delays this morning. We are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and we apologize to our customers for any inconvenience."

RIM did not say if there have been more equipment failures, or what caused the outage to spread.

The timing could not be worse for RIM. This week, Apple is released iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S, both of which can use its new BBM-like iMessage service. iMessage lets iOS 5 users avoid text messaging fees by using Apple's push systems. Additionally, Google and Samsung are expected to debut the newest version of Android in the coming weeks.

With alternatives taking the spotlight, RIM can only hope that its customers don't flee to the competition faster than they already are.

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Dan Buckle
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Dan Buckle,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/21/2012 | 8:08:02 PM
re: RIM BlackBerry Outages Day 3: U.S. Hit
That was funny, look at where RIM is now! I guess it all started to go down hill after the big power outage they experienced. I am so glad that I am now with the Android!

Cheers,

Dan Buckle
http://www.smartest-it.com
ajones320
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ajones320,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/13/2011 | 11:36:33 AM
re: RIM BlackBerry Outages Day 3: U.S. Hit
It only proves to me again that none of the smartphones are worth while. They are colossal waste of time, merely a toy.
DotComFactory
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DotComFactory,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/12/2011 | 11:30:47 PM
re: RIM BlackBerry Outages Day 3: U.S. Hit
Where's all the concern about mobile device security in the enterprise? I carry an Android (with remote lock/wipe capabilities), but for a larger enterprise, there is no better security and management than BlackBerry. Windows Phone comes close second, when coupled with an Exchange server.

But maybe I'm old-fashioned and see the phone better suited for communication (voice and email), not as an entertainment device. After all, iFart is only funny for a short period of time, and if I'm going to listen to music, then Google has all my favorites in the cloud...
gwaterman787
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gwaterman787,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/12/2011 | 10:57:51 PM
re: RIM BlackBerry Outages Day 3: U.S. Hit
Hello Paperweight!
jweber611
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jweber611,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/12/2011 | 8:58:43 PM
re: RIM BlackBerry Outages Day 3: U.S. Hit
We are already part-way out the door from BlackBerry; presently, the only thing keeping my 9700 Bold with me is the awesome keyboard.

Otherwise, the sluggishness of the device is what kills the user experience, and data outages such as this one make me not want to rely on this for use. As it is, my contacts get corrupted via BlackBerry Protect's duplication of entries and the browser crashes whenever visiting major websites (such as CNN's)--Flash was supposed to be supported (via Adobe's Open Screen Project) years ago, yet this otherwise recent device still has no Flash capabilities (and Flash is now being depreciated due to other prominent firms deciding to not add it to their high-selling devices).

My present BlackBerry device (9700 Bold) feels under-powered, under-developed for a contemporary user, and under-supported by the company (RIM). I'm thinking of going to Windows Phone 7 or Android for my next device (depending on how Mango and Ice Cream Sandwich go)--I'm not a fan of iOS much, and do not want to pay the "Apple Tax" for otherwise commodity phone hardware which will now match (when the 4S is released, and I realize that Apple makes the A5 for themselves these days, but running ARM, IIRC) that of Android hardware already on the market for over three months now.

As for BlackBerry? You were sort-of decent at one time, and were never as good as Palm OS 3.5 was IMHO, but your time has already come and now has sadly gone into "tech history."
pgreen017
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pgreen017,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/12/2011 | 7:07:45 PM
re: RIM BlackBerry Outages Day 3: U.S. Hit
The user community here is eager to switch to iPhones but senior management does not want to support two different smartphones. To my way of thinking, this is penny-wise, pound-foolish. The money they save by not having someone install and maintain the software to enable Apple or Android smartphones they are losing in lost productivity. It is just that they can measure the added expense of supporting another type of smartphone, and they have no way to measure the lower productivity of BlackBerry users. I have a personal BB Curve that is painfully slow to access the web or content-rich emails, and I have a personal iPad with a data plan that is a joy to use. When the RIM execs say that they have the attention and loyalty of corporations, that may be true. But I think they are rapidly losing the loyalty of the end users. I don't want a new BlackBerry at this point. I want an iPhone, or at a minimum, an Android phone.

I don't think the RIM outages are going to change things here very much. The fact that they can't quickly fix an outage is stunning, however. This suggests to me that they have built a network that is so complicated they don't really understand it.
ANON1237925156805
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ANON1237925156805,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/12/2011 | 6:53:51 PM
re: RIM BlackBerry Outages Day 3: U.S. Hit
We're already introducing alternatives along with many other orgs. This certainly won't slow down that process. At this point Blackberries are neither hot nor cool. RIM's only remaining calling cards have been robustness and easy/secure administrative capatilities for the enterprise. Now they've had a major failure in the robustness zone. A lot will depend on whether they recover this week and on the thoroughness and credibility of their post mortem, but there will be fatalities I'm sure.

mneilson92601
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mneilson92601,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/12/2011 | 6:33:59 PM
re: RIM BlackBerry Outages Day 3: U.S. Hit
iPhone here I come...Blackberry has been on its way out for a couple years. They had the market cornered and then blew it. We're going to be an iPhone only shop here soon where we were once all Blackberries. They had the market cornered and dropped the ball when the Storm didn't hold a candle to the iPhone and everyone realized that Apple had the magic touch with touch phones and that track balls were not going to cut it anymore. RIP RIM

Mike Neilson
VP Ops
www.neilsonmarketing.com
ThePrisoner6
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ThePrisoner6,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/12/2011 | 6:16:56 PM
re: RIM BlackBerry Outages Day 3: U.S. Hit
I don't need to look. I made the switch a long time ago. My iPhone has proven itself time and again to be a superior piece of hardware and usability. The only reason I still have a Blackberry is for company email, but it is only a matter of time before other devices are supported.
Tom LaSusa
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Tom LaSusa,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/12/2011 | 5:40:27 PM
re: RIM BlackBerry Outages Day 3: U.S. Hit
So, will the RIM outages make you look harder at other devices?

Tom LaSusa
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