Research In Motion's BlackBerry service outage is reportedly affecting users around the world, as the company wrestles with its own "transition period."
Research In Motion might end up having a very bad week.
Reports from around the world indicate the company's
BlackBerry service is experiencing widespread interruptions. "Some users in
Europe, the Middle East and Africa, India, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina are
experiencing messaging and browsing delays," RIM said in a statement to The
Wall Street Journal Oct. 11. "We are working to restore normal service as
quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused."
Meanwhile, Canadian merchant bank (and RIM shareholder)
Jaguar Financial Corp. is making a
well-publicized call for a RIM shakeup. "Everybody is in support of a sale of
RIM or another value creative transaction," Jaguar
CEO Vic Alboini told Reuters
During its Sept. 15 earnings call, RIM reported revenues of
$4.2 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2012, a 15 percent decline from
the $4.9 billion it earned during the previous quarter. The company shipped
some 10.6 million BlackBerry smartphones and around 200,000 BlackBerry-branded
PlayBook tablets during that period. RIM has acknowledged that demand has slowed for its older BlackBerry
models, but has argued that new devices running BlackBerry 7 OS will hold the
market-share line until the company can release its QNX-powered "superphones"
sometime in the next few quarters.
RIM's executives, meanwhile, have been trying to sell media
and analysts on the story of a company in transition, but with a clear road map
to success. During that earnings call, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis told listening
media and analysts that sales of the PlayBook are "below where we'd like it to
be" but that the tablet will "ultimately be successful in a market that's in
its infancy." A major software update for the tablet, which will reportedly
include native email, is due at an unspecified date after October's BlackBerry
However, some analysts have taken a different perspective.
"Our checks indicate slowing sell-through of new OS 7
handsets, and we believe a new low-cost iPhone and low-end Android phones will
pressure RIM in the mid-range and low-end, respectively," analyst Peter Misek wrote
in a co-authored research note for Jefferies & Co.
RIM management "remains bullish on its prospects for the
PlayBook and new BlackBerry 7 smartphones," wrote analysts T. Michael Walkley
and Matthew Ramsay in a Sept. 16 research note for Canaccord Genuity, but "we
maintain our more cautious view as we believe RIM is underestimating the
increasingly competitive smartphone environment."
The question is how these newest RIM outages will affect
public perception of the company.
Nicholas Kolakowski on Twitter
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.