BlackBerry has officially announced today it is offering free apps worth $100 to its users hit by its three-day global blackout.
The Canadian company behind BlackBerry, Research in Motion, attracted worldwide anger of millions of customer who were unable to access email, surf the web or use the BlackBerry Messenger service within three-day outage last week.
The BlackBerry outage began on October 10 and services were only fully restored by Thursday, October 13.
The problem began as a minor inconvenience on Monday, but had turned into an fiasco by Tuesday morning as problems spread throughout Europe and the Middle East before hitting users in India and Latin America.
And it was spread by Wednesday to US and Canada.
It was reported that at least 10 million of the BlackBerry’s 70 million users encountered disruption, reporting problems with email, web browsing and instant messaging following the server crash at the firm’s data centre in Slough, Berkshire.
According to RIM, there had been problems with its “core switch”, a series of specialized computers which receives and redirects millions of emails and messages every minute.
Research in Motion (RIM) announced that the premium apps will be offered as “an expression of appreciation for their patience” during the three-day disruptions.
The apps offered to the affected customers will be available on the BlackBerry App World from Wednesday, October 19, until December 31.
The RIM’s action meant to repair the damage to its reputation appeared after a survey last week revealed that 20% of BlackBerry users were considering switching to another supplier following the outage.
BlackBerry’s “core” business, “providing secure email and messaging to business”, seems being now under threat.
It was also reported that financial institutions such as Morgan Stanley and the Royal Bank of Scotland are trialing iPhones and iPads within their management teams.
Will Findlater, editor of Stuff magazine, said:
“I’m not sure that the business users who rely on BlackBerry for important messages are going to be satisfied.”
Over 1,000 BlackBerry customers have been quizzed by shopping comparison website Kelkoo, which found that 19% of them were thinking about moving to another manufacturer.
Another 42% of customers said they would consider changing later and 8% said they had already bought a new mobile phone.
Another research run on 3,000 people found that 70% of those who were planning to get a BlackBerry in the future admitted they would need some reassurance from the manufacturer as they would be put off by last week’s black-out.
Mike Lazaridis, RIM co-CEO said: “Our global network supports the communications needs of more than 70 million customers.
“We truly appreciate and value our relationship with our customers.
“We’ve worked hard to earn their trust over the past 12 years, and we’re committed to providing the high standard of reliability they expect, today and in the future.
“We are grateful to our loyal BlackBerry customers for their patience.
“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.”
The free apps offered by BlackBerry will include SIMS 3, Bejeweled, Bubble Bash 2 and Shazam Encore.