BlackBerry's blackout black eye (week in review)

RIM's service goes down as iPhone 4S anticipation rises. Also: Going mobile.

Steven Musil
Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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2 min read

Research In Motion could not have picked a worse week for its service to go down.

BlackBerry subscribers throughout the world experienced disruptions in service for several days owing to problems with equipment in RIM's data centers. Customers in the U.S. and Canada were without access to e-mail and BlackBerry messaging Wednesday in an outage that had already been hounding subscribers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa since Monday.

RIM's CTO for software, David Yach, told reporters on a conference call that the outage was caused by a failure of a core switch at one of the company's network operation centers in Europe and then a failure in redundant backup systems. As European systems cratered, a backlog of data piled up on BlackBerry servers.

Not only has RIM seen profits sink and revenues fall as sales of the BlackBerry weaken in key markets, but rival Apple is launching its much-anticipated new iPhone 4S on Friday as well.
•  BlackBerry service is finally restored
•  RIM co-CEO issues video apology to BlackBerry users
•  RIM, you're dead to me now

More headlines

iPhone 4S launch: What's different this time?

It's been more than a year since 2010's big iPhone 4 launch and a lot has changed. How much? CNET walks you through it.
•  Where to buy the iPhone 4S on October 14
•  iPhone 4S carrier preorders sold out in U.S.? Not so fast

iPhone 4S: More than meets the eye

Although not dramatically different from the iPhone 4, the 4S features a faster processor, better graphics performance, and other improvements.
•  iPhone 4S teardown: 512MB, tweaked battery, A5

Apple releases iOS 5

Right on schedule, Apple pushed out iOS 5 to users. The company claims the software brings some 200 new features, including an overhaul to its notifications system and a new messaging tool.
•  Why iOS 5 is a big deal
•  iOS 5 upgraders reporting installation hiccups

Google earnings rock in third quarter

The search giant's quarter was really about its owned and operated sites, which accounted for 69 percent of revenue for the period.
•  Google's Page says Android attacks have no impact
•  Google builds real-time search into Google+
•  Google engineer on Google+ platform: 'Pathetic afterthought'

Mobile devices increasingly bridging work, personal lives

This year's fall CTIA confab was a showcase for programs and services that should help companies let their employees use their personal devices for work.
•  U.S. has more mobile subscribers than people, study finds
•  Mobile devices driving nearly 7 percent of Web traffic
•  Mobile payments looking at turbulent times

Microsoft reacts to gripes over Windows 8 Start screen

In its latest blog post, Microsoft stands by its new Metro Start screen but is now promising a few changes to resolve specific concerns.
•  Microsoft tells companies on XP not to wait for Windows 8

Facebook, eBay unveil plans to drive future of commerce

Facebook amps up its social shopping efforts with eBay's 850,000 developers.
•  eBay CEO: We're at an 'inflection point' in commerce

HP reconsidering PC unit spinoff, report says

Cost of spinning off the world's largest PC unit might outweigh the benefits, sources tell The Wall Street Journal.
•  HP near decision on WebOS group, report says
•  HP expands lead in PC shipments, Apple gains in U.S.

iPhone theft suspects enter no-contest plea

Brian Hogan and Sage Wallower plead no contest to theft charges, after last year's caper involving an iPhone prototype, which Apple claimed was so valuable that a price could not be placed on it.
•  How Gizmodo escaped indictment in iPhone prototype deal

Also of note
•  Dennis Ritchie, father of C programming language, dies
•  Hulu owners call off sale
•  FBI arrests alleged celebrity e-mail hacker
•  Twitter secures trademark for 'tweet,' report says