BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) Ltd. is explaining away another outage " its second in just two weeks " while also deflecting heavy fire from North American users who suffered a mobile email service disruption overnight Tuesday.
"A service interruption occurred Tuesday that affected BlackBerry customers in the Americas," RIM said in a statement. "Message delivery was delayed or intermittent during the service interruption. Phone service and SMS services on BlackBerry smartphones were unaffected. 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 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199) that caused an unanticipated database issue within the BlackBerry infrastructure. RIM has taken corrective action to restore service.
"RIM has also provided a new version of BlackBerry Messenger (version 188.8.131.52) and is encouraging anyone who downloaded or upgraded BlackBerry Messenger since December 14th to upgrade to this latest version which resolves the issue. RIM continues to monitor its systems to maintain normal service levels and apologizes for any inconvenience to customers."
Tuesday's outage comes on the heels of a similar blackout that caused email delays for users last Thursday. In that instance, RIM said it had fixed the issues.
BlackBerry outages are a rare occurrence, and typically come as a shocking surprise to users, who have become used to the smartphone's reliability.
Prior to last Thursday's outage and this week's email service hiccup, RIM hadn't reported a significant BlackBerry service outage since Feb. 2008, which conked out service during a BlackBerry software upgrade.