Updated 11:40 a.m. ET, Thursday, October 13
The global BlackBerry outage that began on Monday, worsening to affect an estimated 35 million users, nearly half of the total BlackBerry subscribers out there, hadn’t been entirely fixed by parent company Research in Motion (RIM) as of Thursday a.m. ET.
Still, RIM co-founder and CEO Mike Lazaridis decided the time was right to make a public apology, via an ultra simple YouTube video.
“Since launching BlackBerry in 1999, it’s been my goal to provide reliable, real-time communications around the world,” Lazaridis begins in the address, “We did not deliver on that goal this week. Not even close. I apologize for the service outages this week.”
Despite promising to provide more information on the situation, Lazaridis doesn’t exactly go into the nitty gritty technical details of the outage’s cause, only to confirm that service is being restored piecemeal around the globe. He admits the issue hasn’t been “fully resolved,” and says he can’t provide a timetable for when and where service will be restored.
That said, the viewers who have seen the video have rated it favorably on YouTube (217 likes to 58 dislikes at the time of this posting), indicating that Lazaridis’ foray into the new trend of CEOs making low-budget apology videos went better than Netflix CEO Reed Hasting’s earlier attempt at the same.
Since the video was posted on the BlackBerry Service Update page at 6:20 a.m. ET Thursday, RIM has released two additional updates, one at 9 a.m. noting that “BlackBerry services are operating well globally,” although “Some customers in Canada and Latin America who are sending messages to other regions may see intermittent message delays.”
Full transcript of Lazaridis’s apology video here:
“I’m Mike Lazaridis, founder of Research in Motion. Since launching BlackBerry in 1999, it’s been my goal to provide reliable, real-time communications around the world. We did not deliver on that goal this week. Not even close.
I apologize for the service outages this week. We’ve let many of you down. But let me assure you that we’re working around the clock to fix this.
You expect better of us, and I expect better of us. It’s too soon to say that this issue is fully resolved. But let me give you more detail about what’s happening.
We’re approaching normal BlackBerry service levels in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa. We continue to monitor the system very closely. We’re working very hard to continue to stabilize the system and we’re seeing steady improvements. We expect to see continued progress, and possibility some instability, as the system comes back to normal service levels everywhere.
We know that you want to here more from us. And we’re working to update you more frequently through our websites and social media channels, as we gather more information.
I’d like to give you an estimated time for full recovery around the world, but I cannot do this with certainty at this time. For those of you affected, I know this is very frustrating. We’re doing everything in our power to restore regular service levels, and we’re working tirelessly to restore your trust in us. We’ll update you again soon. Thank you.”
RIM is held a press conference at 10 a.m. ET declaring BlackBerry service restored globally, but Lazaridis said that the company still had yet to pinpoint the elusive cause.
“We don’t know why the [core] switch failed in the way that it did,” Lazaradis said, referring to a piece of the company’s infrastructure that the company had earlier noted was instrumental in the massive outage. RIM is now working with switch vendors to figure out what went wrong.
Meanwhile, though service has been restored to BlackBerry users on earth, CNN has been reporting that the outage extended to other planets.
Because who ever said a global telecommunications crisis can’t also be funny?