Were you one of the over 70 million BlackBerry users that were affected by the BlackBerry outage last week?
To make it up to you and your fellow BlackBerry users, Research in Motion (RIM) announced yesterday that a selection of premium apps valued at more than US$100 from the company’s App World store will be offered free of charge along with as much as one month free technical support to enterprise subscribers of the popular smartphone.
The offer will be available starting Oct. 19 to Dec. 31, 2011. Additional details about the program and how to register are at www.blackberry.com/enterpriseoffer.
“We are grateful to our loyal BlackBerry customer for their patience,” said Mike Lazardis, RIM’s C0-CEO, in a statement issued by the Waterloo, Ont-based company on Monday.
“We have apologized to our customers and we will work tirelessly to restore their confidence,” Lazaridis added. “We are taking immediate and aggressive steps to help prevent something like this from happening again.
Current customers will be offered a complimentary one month extension of their existing technical support contract. Customers who do not have a technical support contract will be offered a one month trial of RIM’s technical support services – enhanced support, free of charge.
At least one Toronto-based industry mobile industry watcher said the move by the troubled mobile company was “a very good gesture.
“This is bound to resonate very well with BlackBerry fans and users,” said Kye Husbands, co-founder of myCELLmyTERMS, a Toronto company that helps cell phone users negotiate better plans with their carriers. Husbands is also blogs on mobility issues for ITBusiness.ca
myCELLmyTERMS is a predominantly BlackBerry-using organization although Husbands and his partners periodically tests other phones. During last week’s BBM outage Husband said he had to use Skype chat and regular email to communicate with contacts.
The statement released by RIM identified the following mobile apps to be made available on Wednesday:
Bejeweled – A gem-swapping puzzle game also developed by Electronic Arts
N.O.V.A. – A sci-fi first person shooter (FPS) game from Gameloft Inc
Texas Hold’em Poker 2 – A poker game from Gameloft
Bubble Bash 2 – Also from Gameloft
Photo Editor Ultimate – An app that lets users edit images on their BlackBerry phones and send those images to friends. From Ice Cold Apps
DriveSafe.ly Pro –An app from iSpeech.org which enables motorists to read and reply to text messages they receive on their phones without taking their hands off the wheel
iSpeech Translator Pro – This text-to-speech and speech recognition app lets users speak and translate words or phrases including email or text messages in multiple languages
Drive Safe.ly Enterprise – This enterprise version of the DriveSafe.ly Pro has full SSL encryption, caller ID and other features
Nobex Radio Premium – This app from Nobex Technologies Inc. allows users to stream radio programs from 100 countries to their phones
Shazam Encore –This mobile from Shazam Entertainment Ltd. identifies a song that is playing on another device. The app also allows the user to purchase that song through their phone or send the song to someone else
Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant – Try saying stuff like “text Jeff” or “find Chinese restaurants” or “update Faceboo” and this app from Vlingo Corp. will do it for you.
Offering apps and technical service in lieu of money was a smart move on the part of RIM, according to Husbands of myCELLmyTERMS.
“On one hand RIM is showing they are genuinely sorry for what happened and are making amends and making sure BlackBerry users are taken cared off,” he said. “On the other hand the company is also putting the spotlight on App World.”
Despite this, RIM may have still made a misstep, he said: “Why make the announcement on Monday but offer the apps on Wednesday? Why make the people wait? I think they’ve lost me by then. ”