Research in Motion (RIM) BlackBerry smartphone handsets are pictured in this illustration picture taken in Lavigny, July 21, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)
Research in Motion (RIM), the makers of the smartphone BlackBerry, issued an apology on Friday after an outage interrupted service for up to three hours for customers in Europe and Africa. The outage occurred the same day that rival Apple released its newest iOS device, the iPhone 5.
In a statement released on RIM's BlackBerry website, President and CEO Thorsten Heins said, "I want to apologize to those BlackBerry customers in Europe and Africa who experienced an impact in their quality of service earlier this morning."
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The outage, which was originally reported to include the Middle East, was reminiscent of service issues last year that left some BlackBerry users without service for up to three days, The Associated Press reported.
According to Heins, the service cut affected about six percent of BlackBerry users and that those affected experienced delays of three hours for the "delivery and reception of their messages."
"We are conducting a full technical analysis of this quality of service issue and will report as soon as it concludes. I again want to apologize to those customers who were impacted today," Heins said.
Share prices for RIM have plummeted over 6 percent on Friday, reaching a record low of $6.45 on Nasdaq, the AP reported. The company is also facing a record loss of customers to rival iPhones and Android phones and is laying off thousands of workers during its transition period to a new software platform.
According to the AP, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company was once Canada's most valuable company back in June 2008 with a market value of more than $80 billion. However, recent developments by competitors and frequent service mishaps have taken a toll on the company.
John Jackson, a wireless analyst at CCS Insight, told Reuters, "The RIM has experienced another outage is worrisome- something hasn't been put right."
What was once believed to be BlackBerry's advantage, its secure message delivery system, has now become its downfall. The company is preparing to launch a new generation of phones with an improved operating system in an attempt to regain customers.