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BlackBerry says new software caused Tuesday outage

BlackBerry users in North America went hours without the ability to tap away at e-mails Tuesday, after a flaw in recently released versions of the device’s Messenger software somehow disrupted service.

BlackBerry phones have faced recent competition by competitors such as Apple’s iPhone, but they continue to the device of choice for business users. The company reported 36 million users at the end of the third quarter.

The delay was the second hiccup in service in one week and appeared, by users’ accounts, to last several hours Tuesday. Ottawa-based Research In Motion wouldn’t confirm the duration of the interruption or how many users were affected. It also wouldn’t confirm a shutdown in service that users complained about Thursday.

The company said phone service and SMS, or text messaging, on BlackBerry smartphones weren’t affected by the glitch.

“Root cause is currently under review, but based on preliminary analysis, it currently appears that the issue stemmed from a flaw in two recently released versions of BlackBerry Messenger (versions and that caused an unanticipated database issue within the BlackBerry infrastructure,” the company said Wednesday.

It said it has restored service and recommended that anyone who downloaded or upgraded BlackBerry Messenger since Dec. 14 upgrade to a new version currently available (Versions

The service interruption appeared to affect users of BlackBerrys on any service provider, according to users’ experiences. On Twitter, a top trending topic Tuesday and Wednesday was “BBM,” which stands for BlackBerry Messenger. With no word initially from RIM, users complained about their inability to send and receive e-mail and commiserated about their experiences

By Cecilia Kang  |  December 23, 2009; 2:52 PM ET
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Oh what will the beautiful people out in the Hamptons do... Oh I know... buy TRACPHONES.

Posted by: whocares666 | December 23, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Who needs a BlackBerry when you've got a Motorola DROID? Hmm?

The BlackBerry product pales by comparison in every respect.

Posted by: screwjob11 | December 23, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

This has happened before. The last software update caused the same issues. It's apparent that RIM lacks in testing before implementing.

Posted by: askgees | December 23, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm done with BlackBerry. Their email service is great, but BIS has become too unreliable. I was out in the snow trying to get Metro bus infomation, and the stupid BB couldn't connect. Only later did I find out it was due to the latest outage..

Posted by: john65001 | December 23, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

My iPhone works fine.

Posted by: BaracksTeleprompter | December 23, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

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