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BlackBerry Message Service Disrupted

It has been a tough start to the week for Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), as their second major outage of the week affecting BlackBerry Internet Services continues to affect millions of users web and messaging capabilities.

The timing of these events does not work to RIM's favor, following the use of BBs in the (not so) petty thieving in the UK

 As Apple and Android smartphones continue to cut into RIM's market share and Enterprise players begin to see those manufacturers as viable alternatives, RIM can ill afford the questions to the company's reliability that the present outage brings.
RIM had been a former leader in the smartphone market, particularly in the Enterprise space, which stems from its historical strength in messaging.  This strength helped it to be the business smartphone provider of choice for many years. with email and website browsing being an essential part of the European channel.

Now that more young consumers are gravitating to smartphones, with costs as low as £15. or 18 €uros it is a different world.

However, the space has become more competitive with the rise of other players like HTC, Apple, Samsung, and others.  Unfortunately for RIM, the messaging platform has become less of a differentiator than in the past, and users are looking more to intuitive user interface designs and wide availability of strong applications, two areas where RIM has lagged.  In addition to this, employees are more often clamoring for choice in their enterprise devices, and thus enterprises are more closely considering alternatives to RIM.
When authorities in the UK demanded that RIM "pull down their service during the lawlessness by the UKs opportunists nothing was done .

RIM has attempted to raise the bar with the  BlackBerry Playbook tablet launched at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year
Despite RIM's recent problems, they do maintain a strong and in some cases very loyal following, although this may well be due to the 24 month contracts to obtain a £15 contract and a free phone

There have been questions raised  about  RIM  being a prime acquisition target for a larger player.  Questions remain at the willingness of cofounder Mike Lazaridis to part with the company he built and still serves as CEO.