But the outage itself was eclipsed by the overriding issues of Research in Motion's stonewall of silence, followed by confusing messages and then a hardly-humble apology from executives which added to the press frenzy. Almost nothing the BlackBerry maker did was right; and now, only a few days after the issues started, Research in Motion will be performing its own post-mortem on "what went wrong".
Communication's company didn't communicate
A great deal of focus for BlackBerry to take note of, as part of its post-mortem process, is the awful communication on the part of the company during the outage. In many cases, the silence from the Ontario-based company left the talking to the mobile networks, like T-Mobileand Vodafone.
Particular focus was on a "core switch failure", which -- to the vast majority of people -- will mean nothing. And here lies the problem.
Many had turned to Twitter in fact to discover what was going wrong with the service. Though some cellular networks had taken it upon themselves to send out text messages -- unaffected by the outage -- to inform customers of the ongoing difficulties, many BlackBerry users couldn't even use Twitter from their handsets due to the global data outage.
From a reputation standpoint, only delivering a handful of tweets during a global outage of its services leaves the impression that the company is denying the existence of the problem -- hoping that the issue will resolve before the press notice.
They did, and it didn't, forcing the hand of Twitter users with the #DearBlackBerry hashtag, promoting it to worldwide trends, as many scrambled to find answers to why their services had stopped.
For many, this came too late. Utter silence gave way to verbal assurances peppered with images of further disruption ahead. It was a public relations disaster of epic proportions, and many will not forgive the company for handling the outage so badly.
But as BlackBerrys rely on data to function, its smartphones rely on that infrastructure to run. With backup systems and backup systems from those backup systems, when an infrastructure is edited or changed, it has to be fail-safed. In this case, it wasn't.
In any case, infrastructures are delicate 'organism-like' technologies, and require maintenance and upkeep. But because of the BlackBerry data centralisation, something was inevitably going to go wrong, whether it was this week, next month or in a year from now.
Competition wise: 'If it ain't broke...'
The outage hit at the worst possible time for the Ontario-based company. Embarrassingly, the Canadian company faced questions on its own home turf when the issues spread from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, through to South and Latin America, ending up on the doorstep in the United States and Canada itself.
But a massive revolt of the service is unlikely to change how Research in Motion moves on. If anything, the worldwide struggle to access data services will be reflected by investors and shareholders, who will want a change in management, or to sell off the company altogether.
The outage itself will not be the nail in the BlackBerry coffin, but it's certainly cutting it close to the company's downfall.