updated 03:25 pm EDT, Fri September 16, 2011
BlackBerry Messenger faces large-scale problems
BlackBerry owners on Friday were dealt more unfortunate news Friday after many reported losing access to Internet services. Both BlackBerry Messenger and e-mail faced outages, primarily in Canada and Latin American countries. RIM was "investigating" as of Friday afternoon but didn't have a cause or an estimated time for a fix.
The issue is one unique to RIM. As it centers all its BlackBerry Internet Service features through its own servers, any failures in those servers can affect many users no matter where they live or what e-mail accounts they're using. Outages are rare, but they have in some cases affected every user.
RIM's problem comes just a matter of weeks before Apple is due to unveil iMessage, an overt attempt to counter BBM. Apple's method is encrypted but isn't believed to be as centralized and wouldn't necessarily encounter such an issue. It doesn't route third-party e-mail through its servers and wouldn't encounter these e-mail issues itself.