BlackBerry outages hit day three

Millions of BlackBerry users spanning at least four continents are without service for a third consecutive day. An untold number of customers, not all however, are unable to send messages, emails or browse the web in parts of North and South America, Africa, Middle East and Europe.

A little more than an hour ago, Research In Motion admitted that it’s still working to resolve the “service issue that many of our BlackBerry customers are experiencing.”

The early outages occurred Monday in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, but as of this morning they have reached the Americas — and they are ongoing.

“The messaging and browsing delays that some of you are still experiencing were caused by a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure. Although the system is designed to failover to a back-up switch, the failover did not function as previously tested,” RIM said late Tuesday. “As a result, a large backlog of data was generated and we are now working to clear that backlog and restore normal service as quickly as possible. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to many of you and we will continue to keep you informed.”

Over night as outages spread to the Americas and into a third day, RIM said: “The resolution of this service issue is our Number One priority right now and we are working night and day to restore all BlackBerry services to normal levels.” The company has not disclosed any more equipment failures, but there is also little indication that the BlackBerry team is any closer to a resolution.

RIM has suffered massive outages in the past. And worse yet, for RIM, they have come at some of the most inopportune times. Such is the case today.

Apple releases its iPhone 4S and iOS 5 software update this week and the next version of Google’s Android OS is expected to debut later this month on a new Samsung device.