This latest outage cannot be good news for RIM. I’ve seen a couple of comments asking if this will be something to convince more BB users to move to iPhone or Android. My guess is that it will, only because this isn’t the first time this has happened. RIM had another outage of similar scope in March 2010. They had another in December 2009. It seems that a BlackBerry outage is becoming an annual event. Trying to sell your product because of supposedly “better reliability” when it endures outages lasting a day or more every calendar year means the story won’t be convincing.
If RIM is going to have a chance at a future, they have to get a handle on this, and they have to take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. This is more than simply trying to fix the current problem, and dealing with single-point failures as they appear. This means a comprehensive review of their infrastructure, possibly with some outsiders, to try to find any more weak spots and address them. It isn’t easy, because these are pretty complex systems we are talking about, but it isn’t impossible either. Downtime with kind of frequency and this type of magnitude deserves and requires an extraordinary response. Otherwise, RIM is handing ammunition to their competitors for free.