Oct. 13, 2011 at 11:09 AM ET
Research in Motion, the company behind the popular BlackBerry line of mobile devices, finally managed to restore its email and messaging services after a three-day outage. Before the happy news regarding the service restoration arrived though, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis posted a video apology on YouTube.
In the video — which you can see above — Lazaridis explains that RIM has let many of its customers down in the last few days. He continues to say that the company is working on getting everything back to normal — which it may have successfully done at this point, according to a follow-up conference call with members of the press.
Lazaridis apology video comes at the end of a three-day service outage which affected roughly half of the BlackBerry user base. It is believed that the outage was the result of a core switch failure. A switch, in this context, is basically a system which makes sure that data — such as messages, photos, or phone calls — can be routed to the right destination.
If such a system fails, a back up infrastructure of some kind should theoretically kick in and keep everything running. But unfortunately for BlackBerry users, something went wrong while things were transitioning from the failing core switch to a back-up switch. This meant that there was a large backlog of data which needed to be dealt with before BlackBerry service could be restored to its normal functionality.
It's worth noting that the timing of this incident is particularly terrible for Research in Motion because one of its major competitors in the smartphone market, Apple, launched its own proprietary messaging service on Thursday. This service — called iMessage — could potentially tempt some BlackBerry users to make the switch to an iPhone simply because it is a reasonable alternative to BlackBerrry Messenger — one of RIM's most popular offerings.
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