Oct. 13, 2011 at 11:43 AM ET
After four days of outages that deprived them of smartphone basics like email and Internet, BlackBerry owners cried out their collective angst and rage on Twitter, even as the service sputtered back to life early this morning.
Whether it was a symptom of withdrawal from their CrackBerry, or the end of CrackBerry addiction as we know it, the tweets that flew every which way showed how vulnerable a once mighty telecomm force can be, and how quickly they can fall.
Some forgot they could still text, they were so used to BlackBerry Messenger. Others put their devices aside, rested their thumbs and decided to experience life away from their little keyboards or touch screens, hoping by morning it was all a bad dream. For Research in Motion, taking such a long time to resolve the problem may have cost them the battle to stay relevant in a smartphone and tablet race dominated by Android and iOS. RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis tried to do what damage control he could, with a YouTube apology.
In a press call this morning, RIM execs said the problems were of "great concern," and that they were committed to working with their customers "to earn that trust." If there are still any delays, it's because of the backlog of data that has accumulated in the absence of access these past few days. (The execs advised pulling the battery and restarting to resync the device.)
Maybe the reaction was so strong because usually, that's the one thing that BlackBerry is: reliable, with a "99.97 percent uptime for 18 months" until this "service degradation."
This "service degradation" played out on the social network as a constant barrage of complaints, with some tying the breakdown with the death of Steve Jobs, which preceded the first outages in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India by a few days.
Others made wry observations about BlackBerry's nostalgia factor, as a remnant of a bygone era for those who were too stubborn to accept the reality of other mobile operating systems.
Take our poll and let us know if this is the last straw for you and your BlackBerry, or whether you're willing to give it a second chance.