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RIM Users Get Hit By Blackberry Outage

Blackberry's problems have now apparently spread to North America as users are reporting on Twitter that they've lost access to their emails.

This comes after two days of patchy service by Blackberry across the EMEA regions with South America being badly hit as well.

Research in Motion confirmed that a defective switch was what caused the outage in the first place but this appears to have rapidly snowballed into something RIM is struggling to cope with.

The Canadian company isued a statement saying: "Although the system is designed to fail over to a back-up switch, the fail over did not function as previously tested. As a result, a large backlog of data was generated and we are now working to clear that backlog and restore normal service as quickly as possible."

It is understood that while Blackberry Enterprise Services (BES) has escaped unscathed, its Blackberry Internet Services (BIS) have been taken down, which means that affected users are likely to be private rather than business customers.

The timing for Blackberry's blackout couldn't be worse. Apple will launch its iOS 5 later today and its iPhone 4S handset by Friday in the UK. One of the big improvements in iOS 5 will be the inclusion of iMessenger, Apple's answer to Blackberry's own BBM.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.