RIM’s Response to Recent Service Outage; $100 Worth of Free Apps as Apology

If there’s one thing you use your BlackBerry for, it’s games, right?

In response to the recent BlackBerry service outage, which left millions of users across the world with a completely useless device, RIM has apologized for the disruption and is attempting to win some confidence back. In a Press Release issued early this morning, Research in Motion announced they will be offering premium apps  to customers as an expression of appreciation. The short list of apps and games will be available later this week, and will stay “free” until the end of 2011. It’s about as free as the $40/month you pay your carrier for access to RIM’s proprietary backhaul.

Likely, you have a BlackBerry for enterprise use (because it’ll cost the company too much to drop the antiquated service), well RIM isn’t ignoring you either. Corporate enterprise customers will receive one month of free technical support. A whole 30 days of technical service tacked onto your existing ball-and-chain contract with RIM — free!

The complete selection of premium apps will become available to download at BlackBerry App World over a period of four weeks beginning Wednesday, October 19th.   The selections over this period will include the following (with more to come):

•  SIMS 3 – Electronic Arts
•  Bejeweled – Electronic Arts
•  N.O.V.A. – Gameloft
•  Texas Hold’em Poker 2 – Gameloft
•  Bubble Bash 2 – Gameloft
•  Photo Editor Ultimate – Ice Cold Apps
•  DriveSafe.ly Pro – iSpeech.org
•  iSpeech Translator Pro – iSpeech.org
•  Drive Safe.ly Enterprise – iSpeech.org
•  Nobex Radioâ„¢ Premium – Nobex
•  Shazam Encore – Shazam
•  Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant – Vlingo

RIM’s enterprise customers will also be offered one month of free Technical Support.   Current customers will be offered a complimentary one month extension of their existing Technical Support contract, and customers who do not currently have a Technical Support contract will be offered a one month trial of RIM’s BlackBerry Technical Support Services – Enhanced Support, free of charge.   Additional details about the program and information about how to register will be available at  www.blackberry.com/enterpriseoffer.

It’s a pretty unclear message that RIM is sending. “Our service was down for 3 days and you were left with a brick in your pocket, here are some free games to play (for when the service goes out again), and if you pay for the service, we’ll offer your free technical support (to tell you when the service goes out again)“.

It should also be noted that of the 12 listed apps that RIM will be offering customers, most of them  require  an active data connection to be of any use. You can’t use Shazam, Nobex Radio or the iSpeech applications without service.

So be sure to fire up AppWorld on your BlackBerry and grab those games before the service goes down again, we all know you can’t survive with BrickBreaker for another 3 days.

Blackberry App World Hits 1 Billion Downloads; App Store and Android Market Still Way Ahead

The Blackberry App World, the online application store for Blackberry devices has officially hit a very significant milestone – 1 billion downloads. The guys at the Blackberry blog revealed this figure in a blog post today. They are currently seeing close to 3 million downloads every day.

“The BlackBerry App World storefront launched a little over two years ago, and over that time, we’ve made many feature improvements, enhanced the look and feel, and added a ton of compelling apps. BlackBerry App World is now in over 100 countries, seeing an average of 3 million downloads per day, and we recently crossed the 1 billion app download milestone!”

Blackberry App World

RIM’s Blackberry is the third most popular smartphone platform in the US after Android and iOS, even though it has been on the wane since a couple of years. Since the launch of the iPhone and then the Android OS, they have taken a majority of the smartphone market share around the world.

The Apple App Store sports close to 425,000 apps and has served more than 15 billion downloads. Even the Android Market has been doing quite well, with more than 200,000 apps and over 5 billion downloads.

RIM will be launching Blackberry App World 3.0 soon which it says will “evolve and improve the experience for both our developers and consumers”.

However encouraging these figures may seem, RIM is still in a very tough spot. Its market share is being eroded day by day, by the iPhone and Android smartphones. Even Microsoft and HP are trying to get a piece of the smartphone pie. RIM’s latest launch – the Blackberry Playbook – hasn’t been a huge hit. Even RIM is, in the words of Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, on a ‘burning platform’.