On the list of all the things Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM ) would like to see users say about its BlackBerry smartphone, "fail" has to be at or near the bottom. But that's what they're saying on Twitter.
The phrase "blackberry fail" is still pulling comments after yesterday's nationwide network outage. And this morning, "BlackBerry" is what Twitter calls a trending topic of discussion. Many of the comments are, shall we say, less than flattering.
Some predicted the BlackBerry's decline in the face of the rising threat from Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPhone and Motorola's (NYSE: MOT ) Droid. Other tweeters spoke of losing patience with a device they've come to rely upon.
We don't know exactly what happened. All we can say for sure is that the problem was and may still be pervasive. Earlier today, Dow Jones reported service delays in the Americas and parts of Asia.
But there may be a bigger problem to address here. Venture capitalist Fred Wilson, an early investor in Twitter, theorizes in this blog post that Research In Motion's network troubles caused problems for AT&T (NYSE: T ) and Deutsche Telekom's (NYSE: DT ) T-Mobile, among others.
"I guess that means that Blackberry has some kind of overlay network on these carrier's data networks. I am sure that is well known to mobile phone geeks and has been true for a long while. I just never wrapped my head around it," Wilson writes.
It's an interesting take, and a dangerous realization if he's right. RIM is contending with consumptive competitors in the iPhone, Palm's (Nasdaq: PALM ) Pre, and the varying handsets using Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Android operating system. If RIM's network can't digest the data it feeds on now, what will carriers do to insulate themselves from the resulting heartburn?
Next year's likely to bring even more smartphone traffic, which could mean more outages for BlackBerry users. My guess is some of them will choose not to stick around for the misery. That's why I'm still short the stock in Motley Fool CAPS.
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