Widespread BlackBerry outage affects North and South American customers.

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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TORONTO - A widespread service outage affected BlackBerry users across North and South America Tuesday evening.
Research in Motion (TSX:RIM), the Waterloo, Ontario-based maker of the handheld BlackBerry is confirming there are some email delays.
In an email to The Canadian Press, company spokesperson Jamie Ernst says, "Technical teams are actively working to resolve the issue for those impacted. RIM apologizes for any inconvenience experienced by customers."
But no timeline was given as to when service will be restored.
News of the outage spread online with some BlackBerry users "tweeting" their frustration on the social networking site Twitter.
In addition to the email delays, some users said they could not connect to the Internet.
The outage comes on the heels of another BlackBerry email outage in North America that occurred last Thursday. The problem was fixed the same day.
The last time RIM's BlackBerry service had a major outage was in February 2008, when an upgrade to the wireless system appeared to have been behind a three-hour service disruption affecting millions of North American users.
Also on the day of last week's outage, RIM reported a sharp increase in quarterly profits, earning US$628.4 million or $1.10 per diluted share for the third quarter and easily beating analyst estimates.
RIM credited its efforts to get global consumers to buy its BlackBerry smartphones for the profit increase.
The company said it added about 4.4 million net new BlackBerry subscribers in the quarter to bring its total user base to approximately 36 million.
It is now looking at making its BlackBerry smartphones in China as it taps into global consumer demand and competes with Apple's iPhone, Nokia, HTC and others.
RIM has deals with IT services provider Digital China and major wireless carrier China Mobile to sell BlackBerrys.
RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said his company and China Telecom have also signed an agreement to sell BlackBerrys to its customers.

Organizations: TSX, Canadian Press, North American Apple Nokia Digital China China Telecom

Geographic location: TORONTO, North and South America, North America China

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