Can Research In Motion Make It Up to You?

Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) wants to kiss and make up. It made a mistake, but it didn't mean anything by it. These things happen from time to time, but the company hopes that you'll forgive it eventually. After all, time heals all wounds, right?

RIM saw a massive service outage last week that affected millions of users spanning five continents, starting in Europe and spreading like a disease throughout Africa and the Middle East. It was the worst outage in the Canadian company's history and couldn't have happened at a worse time. On the eve of Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) annual iPhone-launch weekend, the blackout may have coaxed some dejected BlackBerry users into making the switch.

As a peace offering, RIM is now making a dozen "premium" apps available for free in its BlackBerry App World store through the end of the year. The titles include popular games from Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS  ) and Gameloft, in addition to a handful of productivity apps. The bundle of apps is valued upwards of $100 and is being given to users as an "expression of appreciation for their patience during the recent service disruptions."

On top of that, enterprise customers who were adversely affected will be granted a month of free technical support.

The episode has overshadowed RIM's unveiling of a lackluster new social service called Tag that uses near field communications (NFC). Research In Motion doesn't have a lot going for it these days, and crippling service outages like this one will only exacerbate market-share losses at the hands of Apple and Google.

To all the BlackBerry users out there: What do you think? Will you accept RIM's peace offering? Did you get fed up and pick up an iPhone over the weekend? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

Add Research In Motion to your Watchlist to keep track of its market share losses. Get access to a free video report on NFC and what it means to you.

Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google and Apple and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On October 17, 2011, at 10:18 PM, etgh wrote:

    Battery gobbling, virus infested Android is not for those who are serious about business communications. One must always remember, Android is freeware, available to anyone who wants to cause havoc.

    Apparently Siri is the midst of its own outage and is apparently having technical issues.

    Of course RIM will be pilloried and nothing they do or say will be satisfactory. Bashers are hitting with great abandonment making a bad situation seem much worse.

  • Report this Comment On October 18, 2011, at 4:20 AM, BioBat wrote:

    So the company that prides itself in being a serious business device is giving away free gaming apps?

    Is it any wonder investors have no confidence in the company when the leadership approves half-baked, misguided ideas like this?

  • Report this Comment On October 18, 2011, at 10:04 AM, lucasmonger wrote:

    A dozen apps worth $100? Are you kidding me? How many $99 cent (and even $1.99 and $2.99) games can I buy at the Apple App Store for $100. Sorry, RIM is doomed. I carried a blackberry for years because they were free from my company, and all the smartphones were pretty mediocre, but when the iPhone 1 arrived, that changed everything. I paid good money out of my pocket for the wonderful phone experience and ditched the Blackberry. RIM's attempts to copy have utterly failed. A coworker bought a RIM Blackberry Curve, and even though it matches the iPhone at that time almost feature by feature, just using it showed all sorts of warts in usability and attention to detail. She regrets that purchase and wished she waited for the iPhone to get to Verizon.

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