BlackBerry recovering from outage

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Picture of a broken BlackBerryBlackBerry maker RIM was picking up the pieces today after a massive outage hit its network yesterday. Instant Messaging and browsing may still be affected but emailing is understood to have been restored. This couldn't have come at a worse time for RIM, which has seen its market share fall to Apple and the companies offering Google Android phones in recent years.

The issue seems to have hit enterprise customers and consumers alike. RIM confirmed that some customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) had experienced difficulties, which means the problem spanned three continents.

Confidence issue
As established in the first paragraph, BlackBerry's market share has been falling at the expense of the rather trendier Apple and the more flexible Google Android platform. Arguably, although it's still the natural choice of corporate emailers and (I find oddly but what do I know) the more youthful customer, there has never been a better time to look at the alternatives.

RIM has of course been working frantically to resolve the problem, and this could have happened to anyone. Its servers in Slough are being subjected to upgrades even now. What's going to do a lot of damage, though, is the confidence issue.

BlackBerrys are fine as phones. For teenagers they're pretty good as multimedia devices too. But where they have always really scored is as instant messaging and email devices - you're always connected with your BlackBerry.

Except now people know they may not be. If the reliability is gone then so is much of the appeal. One more outage and I can imagine customers deserting the organisation in large numbers.

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