Blackberry Outage on Day of iPhone 5 Release, on Heels of Being Dropped by Yahoo

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From the BlackBerry outage, to Yahoo giving it the boot, BlackBerry makers Research in Motion (RIM) have not been having the best week, and many are concluding that it is the beginning of the end for the beleaguered company. Whether it is the end, or just a series of unfortunate events, there is no doubt that they’re are struggling fiercely to stay afloat amidst market-dominating Apple, and their runner-up, the Android market.

It all started when news broke earlier this week that Yahoo’s new CEO Marisa Mayer issued a memo listing all of the devices from which employees could choose for their company-issued phones. Notably missing from that list was the BlackBerry – a Yahoo staple for years. Instead of the BlackBerry, employees can choose between the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC Evo 4G LTE, and the Nokia Lumia 920. Given that Mayer included a phone whose platform is yet to be released to the public, the Windows Phone 8, many are saying that this is a sign that Mayer considers the RIM platform a has-been.

Then today, incidentally the day that the long-coveted iPhone 5 was released to the public, BlackBerry users in Europe and Africa faced a massive e-mail outage. The disruption lasted as long as three hours for some users, leading BlackBerry to issue a public apology, with CEO Thorsten Heins stating, ‘‘I want to apologize to those BlackBerry customers in Europe and Africa who experienced an impact in their quality of service earlier this morning. The BlackBerry service is now fully restored and I can report that no data or messages were lost. Preliminary analysis suggests that those customers may have experienced a maximum delay of 3 hours in the delivery and reception of their messages.’’

RIM is preparing to launch their new BlackBerry 10 software and some analysts attribute today’s outage to issues with the switch over. The switch over comes with massive layoffs and turnover at the Canada-based company, as they try to navigate through both tanking in sales, and trying to prepare for the launch of the new BlackBerry. Whether this is just the storm before the calm, or BlackBerry’s last stand, there is no doubt that today’s SNAFU could not have had worse timing.

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