BlackBerry’s lead at risk after massive North American failure

“Research In Motion Ltd.’s second BlackBerry failure in 10 months risks damaging the company’s reputation as the most reliable service and gives a boost to Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Nokia Oyj,” Ville Heiskanen reports for Bloomberg.

MacDailyNews Note: Microsoft needs all the help they can get.

Heiskanen continues, “The glitch shut off e-mail and Internet access for three hours yesterday and affected all carriers in North America, where the company has more than 8 million subscribers.”

“Companies may increasingly opt for e-mail services that offer more flexibility, shying away from systems such as the BlackBerry that are fully controlled by Research In Motion, said Gartner Inc. analyst Phillip Redman. Customers using Apple’s iPhone or handsets with Microsoft’s Windows have more control over the servers and software that run their e-mail systems,” Heiskanen reports.

“An upgrade to Research In Motion’s network operation center caused the problem, the Wall Street Journal reported today, citing a person familiar with the matter. The company said in a statement at 12:30 p.m. New York time that it’s continuing to investigate,” Heiskanen reports.

“The BlackBerry had 41 percent of the U.S. smart-phone market last quarter, Canalys said this month. The iPhone, released in the U.S. in June, captured 28 percent. Palm, which uses Windows on some of its devices, was third with 9 percent. Other devices that use Windows include Motorola Inc.’s Q9 and Samsung Electronics Co.’s BlackJack,” Heiskanen reports. “Globally, Nokia dominates the market for smart phones, ahead of the BlackBerry and iPhone [which has only been available in the U.S. for 7 months and in Germany, UK, and France since last autumn].”

Full article here.


  1. Uhh, yeah…. except Apple is not as interested in the corporate market as RIM is right now… That may change/evolve over the next few months, but Apple is not actively trying to take the corporate biz away. And Blackberries are predominantly corporate. iPhones are mainly consumer… big difference right there

  2. I remember these clowns downplaying the iPhone because it supposedly didn’t handle “enterprise” e-mail.

    My iPhone works fine with POP3 and IMAP. Any “enterprise e-mail” server had damned well better be able to talk to one of the two major standards.


  3. @ Steve516

    Blackberries were mainly consumer before consumers started demanding they work with corporate email systems. IT departments wailed in despair but were eventually dragged kicking and screaming into integrating them. The same thing could, and hopefully will, happen with the iPhone.

    @ JCR

    You would think that enterprise email systems would support those protocols, but they only do if the IT department turns them on. We run on an Exchange server that COULD deliver IMAP support for iPhones, but our IT department refuses.

  4. The only thing keeping the iPhone out of corporations is an IT department with a limited, and thus limiting, skill-set. IT’s job is to support the enterprise, not control or limit it. Any CEO who abdicates that control is being irresponsible.

  5. jcr, you obviously miss the point of enterprise email systems. First of all, they are much more secure than POP3 (which is useless) and IMAP4. If I lose my BlackBerry, my IT department can lock out the phone in seconds, wiping the phone of all data. Can’t do that with an iPhone. Second, what’s important is the synching of all of information wirelessly. Although I have an iPhone, I know that it is limited to synching while attached to my Mac. My BlackBerry syncs to 3 different Macs in an instant after I’ve entered some piece of data into the BlackBerry.

    One last thing. Most enterprise servers can be set up to have POP3 and IMAP4. But they are terribly insecure, so most IT departments are reluctant to open them up. I don’t allow it at my company.

    My iPhone is merely a personal phone, syncing to my macs. It’s a long way from being a business phone. I can’t bring it into a lot of companies that I visit because of the camera. By BlackBerry 8800 has no camera.

    RIM has a lock on this market, despite phones that are rather clunky, and with little advanced technology on its phones. It’s because the BlackBerry enterprise server matched with Exchange are the top of the class, outage notwithstanding.

  6. RIM has run their system for nine years and have had about 12 hours of outages in that time. (9 hours in April and 3 hours yesterday) get a grip folks, this is still a very reliable service. and they get it up and running very quickly if it goes down. no doubt this will move RIM to invest in more redundant NOCs though. nok, msft, and even iphone can’t match blackberry in security and device control. you think governments, who are amongst RIM’s biggest clients, will start switching to windblows mobile or nokia devices without all the security certifications blackberry has anytime soon? don’t be ridiculous.

    it breaks down like this:

    BB for core communications (email, ascendant mobility, reliable devices) rocks.
    iPhone for everything else rocks.

  7. “where the company has more than 8 million subscribers”

    so wait, Apple sold how many iPhones? mostly in the USA? and the leader has 8 million after how many years of doing this?

    oh Apple is completely rebuilding the industry. hell i thought RIM must have like 35 million subscribers or something the way everyone talked….

    so long RIM, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

  8. > nine years and have had about 12 hours of outages in that time… 9 hours in April and 3 hours yesterday.

    That sounds like a trend that’s getting worse. If there’s another one in the next six months, it’s a definite problem.

  9. Why are iPhone people happy because RIM had a problem? Surely you don’t think everyone on earth should be forced to use an iPhone and they deserve what they get if they don’t.

    iPhone won’t work for me, IMAP doesn’t sync contacts and calendars, and AT&T;converage here doesn’t exist anyway. I can’t use an iPhone. Like most people, I didn’t have an outage with my Blackberry yesterday anyway, but you people are happy that some people did? You people need to get a grip.

  10. I don’t have anything against BlackBerries, have never used one…actually I did try to change the background picture on a friend’s phone and we ended up never able to change it back from the one we chose which was the inapropriate size…you can imagine neither of use was very happy…

    Anyway, I didn’t come to talk about the useless interface that most phones have I came to talk about this security issue that everyone brings up when praising the BlackBerry.

    My iPhone has a Passcode on it and unless you can get that Passcode, the only thing you can do is make emergency calls.

    Okay, it may not be as cool as someone pressing a shinny red button a thousand miles away and rendering the phone useless, but really, asides from very few entities (Pharmaceuticals, Apple, Governments and R&D;arms of companies) that really pride and depend on incredible secrecy, who really needs that kind of Big Brother is watching security?

    Anyway, if you do, then clearly the BlackBerry is for you, but I for one think this is one feature that is not really relevant in “general” discussions of my phone is better than your phone.

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