RIM connectivity issues continue for the third day

BlackBerry disruption enters its third day

Smartphone maker Research In Motion (RIM) is under increasing pressure to return service to its BlackBerry customers as technical issues continue for the third day. RIM's platform relies on its own servers to encrypt communications and connect devices to the internet. It is believed that a fault at RIM's Slough data centre is the cause of current problems. Without this platform, users have found that receiving messages on BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), emails, texts or web browsing is severely limited.

BlackBerry currently has over 70 million subscribers to its services around the world. Traditionally the company has had a strong presence in North America. However, significant market share has been lost to Apple's iPhone and phones running Google's Android mobile operating system.

To try and combat these losses, the company had targeted Europe, the Middle East and Africa as potential growth areas. However, the current problem has created connectivity issues throughout these areas, as well as India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

Loss of market share for BlackBerry

The increase in the use of smartphones has created an extremely competitive market, one in which BlackBerry seems to be struggling. A recent Gartner report has highlighted that global sales of BlackBerry phones have dropped by 7 per cent year on year. It is now believed that even though the total number of smartphone users has increased within the last two years, the number of current BlackBerry users remains similar to those reported in late 2009.

Android, however has significantly gained global market presence with an increase of 26.2 per cent year on year to 43.4 per cent. Apple has also made significant improvements with sales of 18.2 per cent; an improvement of 4.1 per cent compared to the same time last year. However, the most dramatic change is for former market leader Nokia who saw sales drop by 18.8 to 22.1 per cent.

It is too early to tell if the launch of the new Apple iPhone 4S and the expected announcement of the Samsung Nexus Prime, running the latest Android operating system, will cause sales of BlackBerry to fall further.

Mark Baker, online marketing manager at theEword, said: "BlackBerry has traditionally been extremely reliable and has become the mobile of choice for many businesses. With the launch of numerous other smartphones, it raises the question, can BlackBerry continue to compete effectively with the likes of Android and Apple?" .