A RIM server, believed to be located at a data center in Slough, near London, crashed late Monday morning UK time, affecting its popular instant messaging service (BBM), email and web browsing.
At the time of writing, more than twelve hours after the outage began, it appears that email services have been restored, but that’s all.
The last tweet to appear on RIM’s official BlackBerry Twitter feed, posted eight hours ago, reads, “We apologize to any of our customers in Europe, Middle East & Africa still experiencing issues. We’ll bring you an update as soon as we can.”
In recent years, RIM has faced increasing competition worldwide from Apple’s iPhone and more recently, the growing number of phones running Google’s Android operating system. The Ontario-based company last month posted grim second quarter results, with sales targets missed and profits down.
There are, however, markets where the company’s BlackBerry handset is selling exceedingly well. Last week it was reported how, in India, RIM’s smartphones were outselling all others, including the iPhone – but this is partly due to the fact that the wireless infrastructure in the country is currently unable to comfortably support Apple’s popular device. The BlackBerry also burns a smaller hole in the wallet than the iPhone, making it more attractive to consumers.
Though India is unaffected by the outage that started yesterday, the problems still being experienced by BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will only serve to tarnish the reputation of a company that, with its PlayBook failing to make a dent in the tablet market, desperately needs its phones to succeed.
One joke doing the rounds on Twitter, posted by @Will_Hoe a few hours ago, succinctly sums up RIM’s current problem. “What did one Blackberry user say to the other Blackberry user? Nothing.”