RIM says BlackBerry emails, messaging back online

In delayed apology, Canadian company says it is doing all it can to restore web browser
RIM says BlackBerry emails, messaging back online
We are letting you down, RIM said in an apology to BlackBerry users
By Claire Ferris-Lay
Thu 13 Oct 2011 02:29 PM

Research in Motion, the Canadian maker of BlackBerry, said Thursday it had restored email and instant messages on its devices after a three-day outage and apologised for letting users down.

In an emailed statement to its customers, RIM said web browsing services on its BlackBerry device remained unavailable across the Middle East, Europe, India and Africa but said it was doing all it could to restore full service.

“You’ve depended on us for reliable, real-time communications, and right now we’re letting you down. We are taking this very seriously and have people around the world working around the clock to address this situation,” the statement said.

“We believe we understand why this happened and we are working to restore normal service levels in all markets as quickly as we can.”

RIM has been blasted by critics over its sluggish communication response to customer complaints during this week’s disruption – the worst since an outage swept North America two years ago.

"Totally appalled at the lack of communication from RIM," wrote Lynn Murdoch on RIM's BlackBerry Facebook page. "Love my Berry, but furious at the fact that no one can actually give a time frame of how long it’s going to take to fix. Utterly disappointed!"

Analysts have said the outage may have damaged RIM's once-sterling reputation for secure and reliable message delivery.

“If it had been a brief problem that had been resolved then perhaps people would see it as a one-off incident, however, I think it’s getting a bit beyond that now because it has dragged on into the third day,” telecoms analyst Matthew Reed at Dubai-based Informa told Arabian Business.

“It’s reaching a point where it could begin to damage the consumer sentiment [and] the user perception of BlackBerry.

The firm’s overall market share declined four percent to 12 percent in the second quarter, according to research firm Gartner.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, who last week unveiled the new iPhone 4S, said 93 percent of Fortune 500 companies are currently testing its iPhone.

“The iPhone is pummeling the competition,” he said during his introduction of the latest handset. Apple has a five percent market share of the global handset market, he added.  

The BlackBerry device has been the subject of numerous threatened suspensions across the world, as governments seek to access its encrypted email and messaging devices.

The UAE last year threatened to suspend BlackBerry services, after authorities said the encryption technology didn’t comply with national security laws allowing access to data traffic.

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