September 21, 2012
BlackBerry Suffers Outage Amid iPhone 5 Launch
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
The problems with the struggling smartphone brand began Friday morning, cutting off Internet services for web browsing, email and the BBM instant messenger application.
A Vodafone spokeswoman said the failure was affecting its customers throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
"Blackberry/RIM have confirmed that they are experiencing issues with services such as BBM, email and internet and that they are working to fix this," Vodafone told customers.
"Vodafone has not been given an estimated fix time but we're asking RIM to keep us updated."
The carrier said that customers wanting more information should contact BlackBerry directly and that repairs were expected to take effect "very soon."
A BlackBerry spokesman said that all relevant support teams are working to resolve the issue.
The timing of the outage coincides with the release of Apple's latest iOS device, the iPhone 5, which is predicted to top 8 million in sales its opening weekend.
Apple's iPhone devices battle Samsung devices across the globe to become the top smartphone manufacturers, while RIM struggles just to survive.
RIM had a market value of more than $80 billion in June 2008, when the company was still in its prime. Back then, its stock market price was hitting around $140, but now that number has dropped to around $7.
"It's the worst timing," Jefferies analyst Peter Misek told Fox News. "This is bad publicity and it's very unfortunate."
This is not the first time RIM has had trouble with its BlackBerry network. Last October, the company suffered a system-wide failure of the service, leaving users on five continents without email, instant messaging and browsing for four days.
T-Mobile BlackBerry customers faced an email and Internet service disruption earlier this week.