BlackBerry outage: RIM CEO finally speaks

Research in Motion’s founder and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis has issued a personal apology for the disruption to BlackBerry services this week.

In a video posted on YouTube and RIM’s website, Lazaridis apologised and said he felt the company had let down its customers.

"Since launching BlackBerry in 1999 it’s been my goal to provide reliable real-time communications around the world," he said. "We did not deliver on that goal this week. Not even close."

"I apologise for the service outages this week. We’ve let many of you down. But let me assure you that we’re working round the clock to fix this. You expect better from us, and I expect better from us," he continued.

But he also said he could put no timeframe on when services would be fully restored and didn’t go into any more detail about what caused the services to crash first on Monday and then again on Tuesday, just hours after the first fault had apparently been fixed.

"It’s too soon to say this issue is fully resolved," Lazaridis said. "I’d like to give you an estimated time of full recovery around the world – but I cannot do this with certainty at this time. For those of you affected, I know this is very frustrating. We’re doing everything in our power to restore regular service levels, and we’re working tirelessly to restore your trust in us."

Lazaridis added that "normal" BlackBerry services levels were now restored in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa but warned that users could see some instability as the systems gets back into gear.

He also acknowledged that RIM’s public response to the disruption has not been good enough. "We know that you want to hear more from us, and we’re working to update you more frequently through our websites and social media channels as we gather more information," he said.

While services may be getting back to normal for many BlackBerry users the long-term implications of the outage are less clear. A survey by CBR revealed that nearly 20% of BlackBerry users are already in the process of moving to another mobile platform, while another 34% are considering whether to remain as a BlackBerry customer following the service disruption.

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