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BlackBerry Messenger down across the UK, abroad

Research In Motion's BlackBerry Messenger service - for many the key feature of the company's smartphone offerings over more powerful devices from rival manufacturers - is down across Europe, with no time scale for service restoration.

Reports on social networking services have suggested that users have been experiencing problems with the instant-messaging service since around 10:00 this morning, and the issue has now been confirmed by the company as crossing borders.

"Some users in EMEA [Europe, Middle East, and Africa] are experiencing issues," the company has confirmed in a brief statement. "We're investigating, and we apologise for any inconvenience."

RIM's outage comes at a bad time for the company: with Apple busily gloating that it's received over a million pre-orders for its next-generation iPhone 4S smartphone - nearly double the 600,000 the original iPhone 4 received in the same twenty-four hour period - the extended outage could have the company's subscribers wondering about a move to another platform.

UPDATE 1528:

Reports continue to come in regarding the outage, with some users suggesting that the issue is affecting the entire BlackBerry Internet Server (BIS) infrastructure - meaning that, in addition to Messenger services being unavailable, users are not receiving notifications for email. This appears to have been confirmed by mobile network Orange in a Twitter post, but not yet by RIM itself. Research In Motion is remaining quiet on the cause of the problem, as well as an expected resolution time scale.

UPDATE 0927:

In the last few minutes, BlackBerry has confirmed restoration of service - but has still not indicated the cause of the original outage, which has stretched across a twenty-four hour period and affected millions of BIS and BBM users world-wide.

UPDATE 1310:

Well, that didn't last long: both BlackBerry Messenger and BlackBerry Internet Server are down for the count once again. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.