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Service failure hits Blackberry as new iPhone roars ahead

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

October 13, 2011 | 3 min read

Blackberry's competitors are flying high after a series of service hiccups this week which have particularly affected the UK, AdAge magazine reports.

The Blackberry Dakota, launched this year

"Dear BlackBerry. Please give me a refund so I can buy an iPhone," said one angry BlackBerry user on Twitter.

Blackberry's trouble began earlier this week when European users had trouble accessing emails and messages. The problem spread to North America early yesterday- and now affects users on all continents except Antarctica. As the service outages crossed the Atlantic, so did the tweets and Facebook posts.

Survey results from YouGov BrandIndex, which interviews 5,000 people each weekday online showed Blackberry had suffered significant declines in brand perception in the U.K.going from "somewhat positive" on Friday before the outages to "clearly negative" Tuesday.

"Bye [BlackBerry,] Hello Galaxy," wrote one Facebook user on BlackBerry's wall about a competitive Android-based smartphone.

This all came as Apple, which will ship its new iPhone 4S on Friday, is raking in record-breaking pre-orders -- more than 1 million in 24 hours.

Research in Motion's global smartphone market share has dropped to 12% in the second-quarter compared to 19% for the same period of 2010, largely because of zooming iPhone and Android-device sales.

"It remains to be seen if RIM's crisis response will be enough to keep its shrinking customer base, which include many business users unable to access work messages this week," said AdAge. So far, the company had done little apart from posting updates to its websites and Twitter .

BlackBerry users affected by the outages shouldn't expect any consolations such as complimentary service or perks just yet. . "At this time, I'm just concentrating on getting the system up and running again," said David Yach, RIM's chief technology officer for software.

The outage was blamed on a failure of technology and backup systems in Europe- not hackers or a security breech.

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