How many Blackberry users does it take…

by Andrew Scott

…to send an email? None. Because they can’t!

Day Two in the Big Blackout house, and Blackberry users across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa were still unable to access their emails and the internet yesterday. It also emerged two new housemates entered the fray, with people reporting problems in parts of Asia and South America too.

The Blackberry blackout comes as a major blow to Blackberry’s owners, Research in Motion, at a time when their stock market value has slumped 20%, due to poor sales, mainly attributed to customers defecting to other smartphones, particularly Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android devices.

It is not the first time that RIM has run into problems, unlike other smartphones that run on network infrastructure operated by the big telecommunications companies, RIM also run their own exclusive network for BB users. This enables them to offer specialised products for their customers such as encrypted messaging, but it seems that this service is an additional point of failure that RIM competitors don’t have to deal with.

In a strange twist of fate, while attempting to offer something that their competitors don’t, RIM have unwittingly given their customers something they really don’t want, unreliability. Yesterday Twitter was awash with angry BB users, and conversely, some very smug iPhone users.

Once upon a time Blackberry was the dominant force in the smartphone market, particularly popular with business customers. Now, with Apple’s new iPhone 4s expected to be purchased by over 40% of Europe’s smartphone consumers over the next year, could this be the final nail in the coffin for a company that is clearly struggling to keep up?

On Monday RIM issued this statement:

“As an update, we can confirm that BlackBerry email services have been restored. Some customers may continue to experience delays with instant messaging and browsing services and our technical teams are working to return services to normal operation as quickly as possible. We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience and we will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.”

Were you affected by the giant Blackberry fail? We to hear your experience below!

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