The worldwide system failure that hit BlackBerry users in the U.S. on Wednesday couldn't have come at a worse time for Research In Motion (RIM), the company that makes the BlackBerry. The device, which not long ago was a must-have for anyone who wanted to stay connected, has been quickly falling behind other smartphones.
John Abell, Wired magazine's New York bureau chief, said on "The Early Show" that Research in Motion has about a year to get its act together to compete with other smartphone industry giants, such as Apple.RIM says service improving, BlackBerry users scoff
"People have so many choices now that they don't need this anymore," he said. "They invented this. It's kind of sad, but that's where we are. "
Stephen Bates, RIM's managing director, blamed a "core switch back-up failure" for the service issues.
"The redundancy of that switch did not work as planned," he told CBS News.
Blackberry says all the emails will eventually be delivered, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reported.
"Early Show" co-anchor Chris Wragge remarked on the broadcast, "A lot of people at home right now are saying, 'What is going on here?' So you hear this, 'core switch' and 'redundancy.' People don't care about those words. They want to know, 'How did this happen?"'
Abell said, "They had a computer problem. The backup system failed. That happens. The problem now -- if you'll pardon the expression -- BlackBerry has a messaging problem that can't explain what is going on in words of one syllable, and people don't like that."
Co-anchor Erica Hill noted RIM has released a statement that says, "We are doing everything in our power to restore regular service everywhere and to restore your trust in us."
Hill remarked, "(They) are basically admitting you have lost their trust."
"Right," Abell agreed. "They are reinforcing the fact that they don't know the scope of the problem, they have no idea when it's going to end, and they have nothing to tell you except, 'We are working as hard as we possibly can."'
Abell explained the service has been interrupted because of messages stacking up over time.
"It's important to have seamless service ... because people keep trying to do things, and they stack up, because that's the way it should work," he said. "And then, when the computer works again or half works, you have all of these messages that still need to go (through), which is why it spread outside the initial trouble areas."