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BlackBerry services go down in Europe on iPhone 5 launch day

The as-yet-unexplained outage seems to be affecting some of Vodafone customers in the UK and other parts of EMEA, although the blame appears to be on RIM's side rather than the operator's.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

BlackBerry services are down for some customers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, RIM has said.

The outage for the email, web-surfing and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service has not yet been explained, although an apologetic RIM said on Friday morning that it is investigating the cause.

The timing of the incident is unfortunate, as it comes not only just before the anniversary of last year's disastrous four-day downtime, but also on the release day for Apple's iPhone 5.

The problems were initially reported mid-morning by Vodafone customers, but the operator reportedly said RIM was at fault. Comments on the BlackBerry UK & Ireland Facebook page suggest that some Vodafone customers are still able to access their services, while others are having trouble getting those services over Wi-Fi or the mobile network.

RIM is not the only handset company to be affected by such troubles. Apple's iCloud service went down for almost two days last week for many customers, and Google's Gmail had a significant hiccup earlier this year too.

The question now is for how long RIM's outage persists. Last year's downtime was notable not only for its duration, but for the lack of communication from the company regarding its cause.

That paucity of information, paired with a very belated apology from RIM's management, was arguably a key factor in the defenestration of co-chiefs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie a few months later.

UPDATE 16.10 BST: RIM reports that the outage is now fixed.

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