BlackBerry outage spreads to US
A service issue that began Monday has affected tens of millions of users, causing another headache for Research In Motion.
BlackBerry users are running out of patience as a global service outage heads into its third day. The problem has spread to the U.S. and Canada, with users reporting delays, slow e-mail and one-way conversations.
Analysts estimate that about half of BlackBerry's 70 million subscribers outside North America have been affected, Reuters reports. It's unclear how many in North America were affected Wednesday.
Hollywood was "paralyzed in its tracks" Wednesday, reported entertainment site TheWrap. Hollywood actors and executives have long favored the BlackBerry over other smartphones, the site reports.
The outage came on the same day that Apple (AAPL) released a feature-packed update to its mobile operating system. That's got to rankle executives from Research In Motion (RIMM), who said engineers were "working day and night" to fix the BlackBerry outage.
Research In Motion shares dropped more than 2% Wednesday to $23.89.
The problem seems to have begun Monday in parts of Europe and Asia, reportedly after the company tried to upgrade its database software. Problems erupted and then continued when RIM tried to switch back to an older version of its software.
So is this outage another nail in RIM's coffin? Analysts say probably not, since the stock has already tanked this year amid fierce competition from the iPhone and Android smartphone models, MarketWatch reported.
This outage is bad, but it's small potatoes compared with the massive business headaches RIM is dealing with. One of those headaches is Jaguar Financial, an investing firm that says it could have the backing of as many as 12% of RIM's shareholders in its demands for change.
Jaguar's chief executive told Bloomberg that RIM is hurt by "management dominance and a lack of board oversight, which leads to a leaderless company."
Meanwhile, BlackBerry users took to Twitter and Facebook to voice their frustrations. "Haven't received an email in four hours," one New York Times reporter wrote. "Would it help if I smashed this thing against a wall?"
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