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Will the BlackBerry Service Outages Further Spoil RIM for Customers?

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By , dealnews Features Director

The BlackBerry outages that had plagued Europe earlier this week reached American shores yesterday, with users complaining of lengthy service interruptions. Research in Motion blamed the problem on a failed infrastructure link, and although many are reporting a return of service this morning, Mike Lazaridis, co-CEO of RIM, said, "It's too soon to say that this issue is fully resolved."

It's an obvious statement, but we'll say it anyway: BlackBerry really doesn't need this right now. It's already losing ground to iPhone and Android in the market as users defect to the other platform, and poor service could expedite the process even further.

Last month our very own Louis Ramirez found loads of dealnews data that suggested consumer interest in BlackBerry has been waning. In fact, recent BlackBerry deals receive 60% fewer clicks from our readers than refurbished iPhone deals. That's a significantly wider chasm than last year, when the difference was merely 10%. We posited that it "suggests a significant drop off in interest in just a year, and it paints a pretty bleak future for RIM." If BlackBerry ever hoped to redeem itself with consumers, it's losing its chance — and quickly.

Many loyalists to BlackBerry will tell you that they prefer the device's email functionality (with actual buttons), and they adore the fee-free BlackBerry messaging, or BBM, between users. But since Apple just unveiled iMessage last week — a feature that's identical to BBM and available with iOS 5 — BlackBerry may be losing one of its last remaining advantages. (Amusingly, iOS 5 became available to download yesterday, although it too came with a few bugs.)

So will these interruptions in service be the final straw for BlackBerry users who are on the fence? Will they be tempted to jump ship? At this point, would you, dealnews reader, opt to buy a BlackBerry?

Front photo credit copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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3 comments
dealnews-Lindsay
Hi malachi, we weren't comparing total clicks in our data above. If we got 100 clicks from 10 Apple deals, for example, that would obviously be unfair to compare to a single BlackBerry deal. Rather, we took the average number of clicks that a single BlackBerry deal receives and the average number of clicks that a single refurbished iPhone deal receives.
malachi.2.15
I concur with the previous comment...all systems hit down times (apple has had theirs as well).   I should have commented on the previous article as well, but I will put it here.  First of all, I love dealnews.  I visit multiple times per day.  With that being said, their is definintely a bias toward apple and android devices (as you guys have noted...you started out as //macdeals.com[/url).  Very rarely are blackberry deals posted up here.  Crackberry.com[/url] for example has had numerous deals of playbook accesories at 75% or more off of list along with deals of the day for apps.  None of those deals are seen here even though we continue to see lots of "deals" for touchpad accesories.  Therefore, I find it hard for the Ramirez article to have credibility because it is not a (pardon the pun) apples to apples comparison.  If blackberry isn't really represented here at dealnews, it can not be compared to the literally 10s of apple and android deals that are posted on a daily basis.  I don't come here to find blackberry deals (because I know they won't be here), but I would certainly come here to find apple and android deals so your overall data is skewed.  People note that Blackberry's market share has dropped, but they miss that their total volume has increased.   

I just completed your survey, but I'll put it here as well.  I would suggest you be more inclusive of blackberry deals and then see what your "clicks" show you.
Skylark-Torch
Regarding this issue, I am sure Blackberry will bounce back and I would trust their phones. Undoubtedly, this is something that could have happened to any given company.

I really like blackberries and would be happy with one over an I-pod or some other leading touch screen phone.
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