BlackBerry’s Black Eye

Research in Motion, Inc. (RIM), BlackBerry’s parent company, has had a bad week. And if you listen to the word on the street, it may not get any better. In fact, this might be the beginning of the end.

BackBerry’s worldwide service outage that began on Monday and spread across the world through Wednesday, could not have come at a worse time. Tomorrow, BlackBerry may see many customers defect to the iPhone when the highly anticipated 4S goes on sale.

Today, RIM’s co-CEO issued a very contrite apology. From a PR perspective that was absolutely the right move. Owning up to the problem, taking responsibility and telling customers that you will strive to fix the problems so they do not happen again are all solid PR moves.

But, is it believable? This is not the first major outage that customers have experienced. And if your customers don’t trust your promises, then you cannot earn brand loyalty. Where will BlackBerry be without brand loyalty? I think tomorrow may very well answer that question.

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