RIM Offers Premium Apps to Compensate for Four-Day Outage
October 17, 2011 8:38 AM
RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis
Analysts say it sounds like a move that will make customers aware of BlackBerry's App World
Last week, a four-day
outage of BlackBerry services
left millions of users with email, browsing and instant messaging troubles, but Research In Motion (RIM) is sending an apology in the form of free apps to make up for the disruption.
On October 10, BlackBerry customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa began experiencing problems with their messaging, browsing and email services. RIM blamed the service troubles on an extremely critical network failure. On Tuesday, the outage spread to South America and Asia, and on Wednesday,
the United States and Canada
There are an estimated 70 million BlackBerry users worldwide.
RIM's BlackBerry service update confirmed that services began to operate normally on Thursday, October 13. RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis
released an apology video
on RIM's website saying that it is the company's goal to provide a reliable communications network, but "did not deliver on that goal this week." RIM Chief Information Officer Robin Bienfait offered an apology on the RIM website as well.
But RIM knew an apology probably wasn't going to fully compensate for the four days of unreliable service. Many use BlackBerry devices for work, and can't perform well when the device cannot perform well either.
Now, RIM announced this morning that it will provide a selection of premium apps for BlackBerry users to download for free starting Wednesday, October 19.
"Our global network supports the communications needs of more than 70 million customers," said Lazaridis. "We truly appreciate and value our relationship with our customers. We've worked hard to earn their trust over the past 12 years, and we're committed to providing the high standard of reliability they expect, today and in the future."
While the complete list of premium apps is currently not available, a few that made the list are "SIMS 3," "Bejeweled," "Texas Hold 'Em Poker 2," "Bubble Bash 2," "iSpeech Translator Pro," "Photo Editor Ultimate," "Drive Safe.ly Enterprise," "Shazam Encore," "N.O.V.A.," and "Nobex Radio Premium."
Some analysts wonder if the
will be enough of an apology, saying that RIM may have fixed the problem but the damage to its reputation is done. BlackBerry has had
two other outages before
, and customers are starting to see a pattern.
Others, however, see RIM's free premium app move as a wise decision that will make customers aware of BlackBerry's App World. This is especially helpful, considering developers were dropping support for RIM, making it "the biggest loser" in the mobile app race.
"For RIM, this is an interesting way to attract users to the App World and incentivize them to search and download apps," said Francisco Jeronimo, an analyst at IDC. "What RIM probably did was an agreement with developers and is not charging the percentage on revenues they keep when a user buys an app."
“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
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