BlackBerry woes


Bidorbuyers with BlackBerry smart phones had a harder time than usual accessing bidorbuy these past few days. That’s because Blackberry services – e-mail, messenger, web browsing – were disrupted for three days this week, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Today, on Thursday 13 October, the network seems to be stabilising, though the backlog, particularly in messaging, appears hefty.

The disruptions affected users across Europe, Africa, and the Americas.

The outage left about two million BlackBerry users in South Africa without internet and without access to Our figures show that the fall was enormous: during the three days of the outage, only 719 people browsed bidorbuy from a BlackBerry. That figure was almost 3.5 times larger during a comparable period in September.

The million-rand question, of course, is: how did those 700-odd BlackBerry users manage to get through to bidorbuy? Perhaps they made the most of the window of opportunity that opened on Tuesday, when the services were temporarily resumed for several hours. Or else, perhaps they are on the BES enterprise system, which was apparently less affected than the BIS consumer system.

Some analysts now say that the widespread outage could deal a fatal blow to the BlackBerry, already besieged by the iPhone and Android competition. Others think that the customers will stick it out, despite current frustrations, mostly thanks to BBM, Blackberry’s free instant messaging service. BBM allows users to save on text messaging costs and constitutes a major selling point.

BlackBerry is very popular in South Africa and holds about 70 percent share in the smart phones market. And while some retailers did report a decline during service disruptions, the BlackBerry sales do not seem to have suffered a major setback on bidorbuy. During the week ending on midnight 12 October, more than 200 BlackBerry handsets were sold on the site. Generic, no-brand-name smart phones followed far behind, with about 90 sales, and then iPhone, with 35.

You may track the service restoration on the BlackBerry service update web page.