All the Ways BlackBerry Is Pushing Itself Towards Extinction

It's hard to feel bad for Research in Motion anymore

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At first we felt bad for BlackBerry, as it ceded its smartphone crown to Apple and faded into smartphone oblivion. But BlackBerry just can't get it together. For the third day in a row BlackBerry service is down, reports Reuters's Georgina Prodhan. "Millions of BlackBerry users around the world were left without text communication services for a third day on Wednesday as Research in Motion struggled to fix what it said was a switching failure in its private network." Just as things started looking up with the sour reaction to the iPhone 4S and all, for a tiny moment it looked like manufacturer Research in Motion had a moment to make things better. But, nope. Good ole BlackBerry disappoints again, potentially pissing off more people than ever. Let's count all the ways BlackBerry is pushing itself towards extinction.

It hasn't released a winning phone in years.

BlackBerry can't control Apple's offerings. But just because the iPhone rules, doesn't mean Research in Motion can't get with the times. In August BlackBerry announced a line of shiny new phones. They didn't impress. Once ahead of the curve, the updated Bold and Torch lines played catch up--nothing to impress. Then, when the company tried to get with the times, launching a music service, that also flopped.

Now its phones have bad service, to boot.

Starting Sunday, BlackBerry Messenger has been experiencing failures that the company can't seem to fix. As service faded in and out BlackBerry claimed that it has solved the problem, only to crash again reports The BBC. "The crash comes only a few hours after RIM had issued a statement which said all services were now 'operating normally.'" Two strikes there: It can't get the message right. And the issue still isn't fixed.

And not only has BlackBerry pissed off the loyal customers who've stuck around even in the age of iPhone, but it potentially could lose its biggest fans with this slip-up, explains The New York Times's Ian Austen. "The failures also undermine a crucial distinction for BlackBerry. RIM operates a unique global data network, helping it to offer corporate and government customers high levels of security for their communications. For consumers, this network, when it functions properly, can bring improvements to Web browsing."

And then there's that whole employee maltreatment thing.

RIM is a horrible place to work, apparently. Not only is the company unstable--it layed off thousands of workers earlier this summer--but the ones it keeps around are miserable. At least according to anonymous employees, whose complaints Boy Genius Report posted earlier this summer. "While I hide it at work, my passion has been sapped. I know I am not alone — the sentiment is widespread," an anonymous worker wrote.

After three days of bad service RIM's stock is down 1.84 percent. Over six months, the stock is down 55 percent. And BlackBerry mostly has itself to blame.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.