RIM lost $54 million on four-day global BlackBerry outage

Summary:The BlackBerry maker said on Thursday that the global outage which spread across the world over four days cost the company $54 million, revised-down from estimates.

Remember back to October when your BlackBerry suddenly stopped working, and despite text messaging and phone calls working, you were cut off from the outside world because data wasn't flowing into your phone?

Allow me to help. It's the reason why you binned your smartphone and bought an iPhone or Android handset instead. Are you following?

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion told investors and shareholders last night just how much that "outage" cost the company: $54 million, or $40 million after tax. Although, it's not as bad as it seems.

Estimates ranged from an isolated UK-only estimate of $26 million to a worldwide look-back of $100 million, all the way to $350 million in total.

What is to consider is that the company's share price, which fell from $24.41 a share on October 11 after markets close, to $17.58 a share a month later --- after the outage had levelled off and the aftermath of the BlackBerry enterprise exodus took place.

Also, the knock-on effect to the global economy in what was still a BlackBerry-dominated enterprise space is untold, with millions of business critical emails unable to send.

The outage spread across four-days and five continents, with over half of its 70 million users worldwide were estimated to have suffered as a result.

Initially sparking from a server failure near London, UK, it spread to mainland Europe, through the Middle East, Africa, and South and Latin America. The United States and Canada were also affected before the company grappled with its infrastructure reins and stunned the service back into life.

After the outage, comScore estimated that the BlackBerry smartphone platform market share decreased by 2.9 percent down to 16 percent, accounting for between September 2011 and December 2011.

Image credit: CTV.ca.

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Topics: Mobility, BlackBerry, Hardware, Mobile OS, Outage

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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