updated 08:45 am EDT, Wed April 18, 2007
BlackBerry owners in North America had a major scare late Tuesday with a wide-scale service outage, say reports. The "push" e-mail service that forms the backbone of the smartphone's service was taken offline in North America, preventing phones from sending or receiving messages. The outage was likely due to one of Research in Motion's two datacenters going offline, according to reports: unlike some messaging services, all BlackBerry service in North America is filtered through RIM's Canadian headquarters. Users in Asia, Europe, and elsewhere weren't affected, the company says.
Although damaging to the company's reputation, the outage was mitigated by timing. The drop occurred just after the workday at most companies, saving those who most dependo n the devices from experiencing the issue; the company also recently saw its sales for the first quarter of 2007 jump 66 percent compared to the year before thanks in large part to the success of the mainstream-oriented BlackBerry Pearl.