updated 05:35 pm EST, Tue December 22, 2009
BlackBerry e-mail, messaging down again
BlackBerry users this afternoon have reported another outage affecting the smartphone platform's BlackBerry Information Service. The failures appear broader than the primarily mail-related delays from just last week and now also affect web browsing, BlackBerry Messenger and third-party apps that use Internet access. RIM has been contacted by Electronista for commentary but hasn't yet had the opportunity to respond.
The issue represents the third such failure within weeks and comes just as RIM is counting on continued strong sales to buffer itself against competition from the iPhone, which may come close to or match BlackBerry sales based on some analyst estimates.
RIM's system has previously drawn criticism for its heavily centralized nature that passes many messages and some other data through its own servers. The technique is key to the BlackBerry's push e-mail delivery but has resulted in numerous outages, particularly for individual users that don't have a BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Most competitors, like Android and iPhone, have service-independent push that usually depends on the using widespread standards like IMAP to deliver mail at near real-time.