Like BlackBerry owners in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa who have been experiencing sporadic outages of messaging and email service for the past three days, the issue spread to users in the U.S. and Canada this morning.
RIM promises to be working on the issue currently, as more and more users experience the outage. The company claims the failure of a crucial link in its infrastructure as the root of the problem, also stating that a backup didn’t work either.
While a service shortage is never welcomed, this outage could not come at a worse time for RIM, which has been struggling with lagging sales and an unpopular tablet. As shares approach a five-year low, the company faces intense competition from a surplus of Android smartphones and the impending release of the iPhone 4S, which hits stores on Friday.
Compared to other cellphone makers, RIM is unique in that it handles email and messaging traffic to and from its phones. When such problems occur, millions of subscribers are affected at once. With a BlackBerry customer-base of about 70 million users worldwide, with two-thirds of users outside of the U.S. and Canada, RIM will quickly need to find a fix before the outage reaches more customers.