BlackBerry maker Research in Motion said Wednesday that the ongoing service disruptions affecting BlackBerry users around the world had been caused by an infrastructure failure that disrupted the company's systems and led to a backlog of messages.
RIM's CTO for software David Yach said during a press conference that RIM's systems had suffered a "core switch failure" and that backup systems had failed to kick in, resulting in a "large backlog of messages" that stressed RIM's infrastructure and caused the service issues, now in their third day, to spread beyond Europe to the Americas, along with a number of other countries.
The company did not specify how long it expects to take for the backlog to clear and the outage to be fixed.
Some "millions" of BlackBerry users in Europe, Africa, India, the Middle East and Americas have been unable to browse the web, use BlackBerry Messenger or consistently access email from their devices, Reuters reported.
RIM specifically noted that it saw "no evidence" to suggest a breach or hack had caused the service interruptions and noted that once full service is restored, the company will be performing additional analysis to understand what caused the problems,
"Some of the substantial queueing we've seen starting in Europe, as it's taken us time to get Europe back to a stable situation, has caused some impact in other geographies with messages bound for Europe," said Yach.
The hashtag "#OtrosUsosParaElBlackberry" (or, "other uses for a BlackBerry") was trending on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon as users took to the social media site to vent about the smartphone's problems.
Jersey Shore's Snooki complained, "Blackberry outage? Let's get real here blackberry ugh."
Prolific tweeter Piers Morgan seemed poised to live blog his experience of the outage and posted four frustrated tweets about the service issues in a half-hour span.
RIM's timing couldn't be worse: the service issues hit North America the same day Apple released the new version of its iPhone software, iOS 5, and just a few days ahead of the launch of its new iPhone 4S.
"We are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and we apologize to our customers for any inconvenience. We will provide a further update as soon as more information is available," RIM said in a statement, according to CNN.