BlackBerry users across the world were hit with a massive outage last week that left them unable to send emails, browse the web or use BlackBerry Messenger for up to three days. Now that service has been restored, Research in Motion is making amends by offering its users over $100 in premium applications.
The offer will be available through the end of the year and includes a selection of entertainment and productivity apps such as The Sims 3, iSpeech Translator Pro, Shazam Encore, and Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant, among others. The company is also offering one month of free technical support to enterprise users. RIM says this is a token of its appreciation for customer patience:
"We are grateful to our loyal BlackBerry customers for their patience," RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said in a statement today. "We have apologized to our customers and we will work tirelessly to restore their confidence. We are taking immediate and aggressive steps to help prevent something like this from happening again."
Whether or not free applications will be enough to appease angry users looking at other platforms after the outage remains to be seen. At the very least it will bring some awareness to the company's application store, which has around 40,000 apps available and has seen around 1 billion downloads so far -- some way behind Apple's App Store.
RIM has not released complete information on what caused the outages, but they did say that a problem with system hardware caused a backlog of data to build up in the company's European servers. The company's backup systems also failed, resulting in a cascading failure that spread across the world. RIM’s chief technology officer for software, David Yach, is reportedly leading an audit to discover the root cause of disruption.
Check out the company’s press release for more information and an expanded list of included apps.
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