BlackBerry blunder boosts iPhone use

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    BlackBerry experienced what many news organizations have called “the biggest outage for BlackBerry” in October. The worldwide outage affected many users, including students who said they were unable to access emails and messaging for up to three days.

    According to a Huffington Post article, the outage began in Europe on Oct. 10 and reached the United States by Oct. 12. The failure was caused by problems with the infrastructure of Research in Motion, a Canadian company that makes the phones. The article stated that RIM said the problem occurred because a “crucial link in its European infrastructure failed, and backup didn’t work either.”

    David Yach, RIM’s technology officer for software, told the Huffington Post the problem started in Europe with phone outages of email, messaging and Internet services and backed up RIM’s system, which then led to outages in the U.S. and Asia.

    Junior criminal justice major Sam Butts said that during the outage he experienced slow internet service and trouble sending emails, though it wasn’t too bad. He said his internet was normally pretty slow, but during the outage he noticed it had gotten much worse.

    Sophomore strategic communication and french double major Simone Elices said she didn’t experience many problems during the outage, but both of her parents were upset by their emailing and messaging issues. Elices said she has dealt with her phone “randomly” turning off for minutes at a time, but she said it happened regularly and was not because of the outage.

    An additional Huffington Post article stated that many American BlackBerry users said the outage was the last straw. Many were so outraged that they switched to the iPhone and even filed lawsuits against RIM. Many became upset because they expected compensation from RIM for the loss of service, but RIM failed to do so, according to the article.

    A lawsuit was filed against RIM Oct. 26 on “behalf of all U.S. BlackBerry users,” according to the Huffington Post. The suit accused RIM of breach of contract, unjust enrichment and negligence.

    Butts and Elices both said they had recently switched their cell phones from BlackBerry to iPhone.

    Elices said she was a fan of BlackBerry, but her mother was fed up with BlackBerry and wanted to switch.

    “Our [Elices’ family] contracts were up, and I really wanted to get a new BlackBerry. But they were too expensive, and we could get iPhones for much less,” Elices said. “It’s sad. I miss my BlackBerry. I don’t like this [iPhone].”

    Butts said he had planned on getting an iPhone when his BlackBerry contract ended. He said he was happy with the switch.

    “I really like it a lot. It’s a lot easier to navigate through,” Butts said. “The applications are a lot better than BlackBerry, and a lot easier to work.”