updated 10:40 pm EDT, Wed October 12, 2011
RIM says BlackBerry mail slowly coming back
RIM's CIO Robin Bienfait posted an update late Wednesday letting BlackBerry users know that BlackBerry Internet service should be gradually coming back following its massive outage. E-mail was working in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, with backed up messages still being cleared. BlackBerry Messenger was up and working smoothly outside of a trio of Latin American carriers, where web browsing was also a problem.
Some were still reporting delays in BBM in the Americas, although RIM was investigating these claims. Bienfait was frank in apologizing, but still didn't have an estimate for when RIM could give the all-clear.
"You’ve depended on us for reliable, real-time communications, and right now we’re letting you down," he said. "We are taking this very seriously and have people around the world working around the clock to address this situation. We believe we understand why this happened and we are working to restore normal service levels in all markets as quickly as we can."
The current explanation pins the outage on a failed core switch whose backup also failed despite testing, leading to a block that all but closed off BlackBerry Internet use. Symptoms first started in Europe but quickly expanded to cover most of the Eastern side of the world and eventually the Americas.
RIM has had outages before, but never on a similar scale and for as long. The circumstances have led to a rare instance of a small but vocal group promising to switch to the iPhone, Android, or another platform. Microsoft product evangelist Ben Rudolph has gone so far as to offer free Windows Phones to 25 BlackBerry owners who can explain why they want to switch.