Research in Motion, Ltd., the maker of BlackBerry has admitted that there has been a major disruption to services provided by the company this morning. This leaves millions without the critical services of BlackBerry messaging, email, and web. According to Fox News, the company confirmed the problems for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa via Twitter:
Some users in EMEA are experiencing issues. We're investigating, and we apologise for any inconvenience.
The problem appears to be stemming from a data center in Slough, UK, according to the Guardian. The data center handles RIM services for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. However, knowing that a data center is the source of the problem isn't helping users. Users that have tweeted back to BlackBerry UK are are saying that data is not available and they are repeatedly asking for updates. The original confirmation was several hours ago, with no further word from RIM. The outages are also sporadic, leaving some users not sure whether their services are fully working. Some users can send/receive data and messages just fine, while others on the same provider cannot.
Carriers are fanning the flames as well, quickly blaming RIM for the outage. T-Mobile UK states that "There is an issue with BlackBerry services at present." Vodafone Egypt tweeted "it's from RIM side". Carriers that are reporting problems include Qtel Qatar, Etisalat in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai-based Du, Zain Kuwait, and the Bahrain Telecommunications Co. Vodafone UK says that customers across Britain are experiencing problems using BlackBerry Messenger.
Either way, this does not look good for RIM and its image. This outage comes as BlackBerry continues to lose ground as a smartphone company. Blackberry continues to lose market share to the iPhone and to the multitude of devices that run on Android.