BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) said service has been completely restored worldwide, but messages may still be delayed because of backlogs. Co-CEO Mike Lazaridus issued avideo apology, saying that this was the largest service outage in the company’s history. His co-CEO Jim Baisillie said the company might consider offering perks to subscribers as an apology.
The outage started Monday, affecting most major markets worldwide except for Asia. The problem spread to North America Tuesday, frustrating many who rely on their BlackBerries for email, mobile Internet access, and instant messaging. Now RIM says the downtime has left a huge backlog of undelivered messages, meaning that some people still may not be getting their BBM messages.
The company also said that hackers did not cause the problem, but that instead a core switch failure inside its network was to blame.
“This will not be the final nail in RIM’s coffin, but where in the past RIM always came back, this will give customers yet another reason to look at other devices,” says tech analyst Jeff Kagan. Kagan says that when Blackberry had outages in the past, users stuck with the device because it was still the best smartphone on the market. Now, that is no longer clear.
Craig Cartier, an analyst with research firm Frost & Sullivan, believes that there may still be hope for RIM. He applauds the company’s recent acquisitions of The Astonishing Tribe (TAT) and the ONX operating system, used in the BlackBerry Playbook tablet and expected in future RIM smartphones. “Despite RIM’s recent stumbles, they do maintain a strong and in some cases very loyal following, particularly in the Enterprise space,” he says. “Some feel that the stock has taken a deeper hit than warranted and therefore may be a prime acquisition target for a larger player.”
One of the frustrated BlackBerry users on twitter yesterday had an idea long those lines, posting “Dear Apple, please do all us Blackberry users a favour. Please buyout RIM & make the iPhone 5 have BBM. Thank you.”