RIM gains despite outages

By , IDG News Service |  Mobile & Wireless

Consumers and enterprise workers are flocking to the BlackBerry despite recent
embarrassing glitches that have shut down service for hours on a few occasions.

Research In Motion on Thursday
boosted its forecast for subscriber account additions in its fiscal fourth quarter
ending March 1. Back in December, RIM predicted 1.82 million new accounts, but
now it expects that number to be higher by 15 percent to 20 percent. That will
mean a total of about 14 million subscriber accounts at the end of the quarter.
Final results will be revealed April 2. The company's revenue and profit forecast
hasn't changed.

The Waterloo, Ontario, company raised its forecast during a difficult month.
Last week, BlackBerry users in North America lost the mobile e-mail and data
service for about three hours in an incident RIM blamed on recent upgrades to
an internal routing system. Then, some North American users reported the service
down on Wednesday morning this week. RIM said scheduled maintenance slowed down
delivery of some customers' e-mail. (Another outage in late January was caused
by the AT&T Wireless network.)

BlackBerry has gotten black eyes before, namely during an April outage in North
America that lasted overnight. In 2006, users lived for several months in fear
of a service shutdown in the U.S. sought by NTP, which sued RIM alleging patent
infringement. RIM eventually settled the suit in March 2006, agreeing to pay
more than US$600 million.

The problems shone a spotlight on RIM's reliance on a proprietary architecture
and the fact that all messages have to go through its network operations center
(NOC). These factors could make RIM vulnerable to a single point of failure,
some analysts said. But in reality, BlackBerry devices probably aren't any less
dependable than mobile e-mail systems from other vendors, such as Microsoft,
Palm and Nokia's Intellisync, they said.

BlackBerry service can be managed through a BlackBerry Enterprise Server within
an organization, but RIM is now making a push for consumers with its BlackBerry
Internet Service, which can be ordered from a carrier.

In the fourth quarter of last year, RIM had a leading 41 percent share of the
U.S. smartphone market and more than doubled its worldwide share to 11.4 percent,
according to research company Canalys. Users like the security of RIM's system,
its support for IBM Lotus Notes in addition to Microsoft Exchange and the fact
that RIM's NOC handles the connections to all mobile operators that carry BlackBerry
devices, analysts said.

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Answers - Powered by ITworld

ITworld Answers helps you solve problems and share expertise. Ask a question or take a crack at answering the new questions below.

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Ask a Question