3 BlackBerry outages in a month?

The global failures are a big misstep for Research In Motion, just as competitors push smart phones for the holiday.

By Kim Peterson Dec 23, 2009 1:41PM
Blackberry Curve 8900 (© Peter Morgan/AP)Here's an iPhone advertisement that Apple (AAPL) didn't have to spend a dime on: The BlackBerry smart-phone service has had three outages this month.

The latest BlackBerry failure -- the second in a week for North American users -- may have been triggered by a software glitch with a new BlackBerry Messenger application.

BlackBerry's maker, Research in Motion (RIMM), has apologized and is moving quickly to fix the problem. But that isn't doing much to placate BlackBerry users, who are fed up with the hiccups (video below).

"Two outages in five days deserves more than a patch and a halfhearted 'We apologize for any inconvenience,' " writes Jared Newman at PC World. "Show your customers the money."

Newman suggests that RIM offer a $5 or $10 credit, or maybe even $20 off the purchase of a new BlackBerry. That certainly makes sense, and it could help buy back some of the goodwill that RIM has lost this month.

The outages couldn't have come at a worse time, as the iPhone continues to build momentum. The iPhone was the best-selling phone in the U.S. in the third quarter, and RIM's BlackBerry Curve (pictured) was in third place. (Second place, you ask? The Motorola Razr. Go figure).

Meanwhile, other competitors like Google are revving up for a big push next year as the economy starts to recover. Companies will begin hiring more, giving more opportunities for smart-phone purchases for the workplace. That has traditionally been BlackBerry's turf, but Apple and Google are encroaching.

Here's CNBC's take on the issue:



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