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Blackberry outage in Europe, coincides with iPhone 5 release

It is the second major service disruption in under a year for Blackberry-maker Research in Motion (RIM).

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Blackberry outage in Europe, the company's second major breakdown in the last year. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

A Blackberry outage in parts of Europe, the Middle East and Africa today left many without service for several hours.

It is the second major service disruption in under a year for Blackberry-maker Research in Motion (RIM).

The outage also coincided with the release of Apple's iPhone 5, once a competitor to the Blackberry and now the clear champion of the mobile handset market.

According to the New York Times, RIM's president and chief executive, Thorsten Heins, said in a statement that up to six percent of Blackberry customers may have lost access to their BlackBerry services Friday.

This translates to about 4.7 million customers, said the Wall Street Journal.

“We are conducting a full technical analysis of this quality-of-service issue and will report as soon as it concludes,” he said.

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Nearly a year ago, Blackberry suffered a massive service disruption around the globe affecting tens of millions of customers.

The outage lasted three days before the problem was identified and solved.

Many believed that it was a nail in the company's coffin after facing slumping sales and rising competition from Apple and Samsung.

Friday's problem came the same day as Apple debuted its iPhone 5 in stores.

Shares in RIM plunged by 6.1 percent with news of the service failure, said Bloomberg News.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/120921/blackberry-outage-europe-coincides-iphone-5-release