RIM denies renewed reports of BlackBerry smartphones going down

Barely a month after BlackBerry suffered its widest service failure, there are fresh reports that users are again experiencing service failures. BlackBerry parent company Research In Motion (RIM) has hurriedly downplayed these reports.

Given the last outage was as much a public relations failure as a technical failure, RIM has been quick to issue a statement regarding what it has chosen to characterise as a service disruption.

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Using Twitter, the Canadian company quickly replied to initial user complaints saying: “We’re getting reports that some users are experiencing delays,” and “We’re investigating and will update you ASAP (as soon as possible).”

BlackBerry followed up on the tweets with an official statement saying, “There is no system-wide outage, however we are investigating reports that some users in EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India, and Africa) have experienced delays”.

Postings on social networks from affected users, however, painted a different picture. Users complained about being unable to send and receive emails, make use of applications and that browsing online was almost “impossible”.

Last month, BlackBerry faced a storm of criticism after its services, a major reason many users choose the phone, went down for three days. After an initial media silence from the beleaguered company, it released a statement blaming a now infamous “core-switch” failure as the reason behind the global blackout.

Looking to apologise to users, RIM released US$100 worth of “premium apps” for free per user. Users currently affected by this “service delay” would be unable to make use of many of those apps. RIM is also facing a possible class-action lawsuit over the service failure.

The overall effect of the system-wide blackout on BlackBerry, which is struggling in the face of stiff opposition from Apple and Android devices, is still hotly debated.

Some analysts, including Memeburn contributor Steven Ambrose, believe that it will be negligible, whereas the widespread opinion has dissented.

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