RIM seeks to make amends, offers free apps

RIM is still really sorry about the outage last week. So sorry, it seems, that they’re offering free apps to make up for the inconvenience. Co-CEO Jim Balsillie thinks it’s too soon to say what happened, saying “It is too early for us to talk about that, but we will talk about that in due course.” But they do want to make their remaining users happy. That’s why they’re giving subscribers $100 in free applications, “an expression of appreciation for their patience during the recent service disruptions.”

While it seems like a nice gesture, RIM is more likely doing this to get users entrenched in their app ecosystem, which makes it harder for someone to justify jumping ship and having to pay for apps on another platform.

The Blackberry Developer’s Conference starts this week, and RIM is expected to unveil new things that will blow your mind. Things like updates to the Playbook tablet, and (hopefully) a sneak peek at their QNX line of smartphones. I’ll keep an open mind until I see the devices, but they’ve got some big steps to take to remain relevant.

Full RIM Press Release:

Research In Motion Offers Free Premium Apps to Customers Following Service Interruptions

Waterloo, ON – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) announced today that a selection of premium apps worth a total value of more than US $100 will be offered free of charge to subscribers as an expression of appreciation for their patience during the recent service disruptions. The apps will be made available to customers over the coming weeks on BlackBerry® App World™ and will continue to be available until December 31, 2011.*

“Our global network supports the communications needs of more than 70 million customers,” said RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. “We truly appreciate and value our relationship with our customers.  We’ve worked hard to earn their trust over the past 12 years, and we’re committed to providing the high standard of reliability they expect, today and in the future.”

The complete selection of premium apps will become available to download at BlackBerry App World over a period of four weeks beginning Wednesday, October 19th.  The selections over this period will include the following (with more to come):

• SIMS 3 – Electronic Arts • Bejeweled – Electronic Arts • N.O.V.A. – Gameloft • Texas Hold’em Poker 2 – Gameloft • Bubble Bash 2 – Gameloft • Photo Editor Ultimate – Ice Cold Apps • DriveSafe.ly Pro – iSpeech.org • iSpeech Translator Pro – iSpeech.org • Drive Safe.ly Enterprise – iSpeech.org • Nobex Radio™ Premium – Nobex • Shazam Encore – Shazam • Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant – Vlingo

RIM’s enterprise customers will also be offered one month of free Technical Support.  Current customers will be offered a complimentary one month extension of their existing Technical Support contract, and customers who do not currently have a Technical Support contract will be offered a one month trial of RIM’s BlackBerry Technical Support Services – Enhanced Support, free of charge.  Additional details about the program and information about how to register will be available at www.blackberry.com/enterpriseoffer.

“We are grateful to our loyal BlackBerry customers for their patience,” added Lazaridis. “We have apologized to our customers and we will work tirelessly to restore their confidence.  We are taking immediate and aggressive steps to help prevent something like this from happening again.”

Note to Editors: Last week, many customers experienced service interruptions and delays over a period of approximately 3 days in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa, 1.5 days in Latin America and Canada, and 1 day in the United States. Global teams worked around the clock to contain the issue and minimize the impact to customers as much as possible. As of Thursday, October 13, service levels returned to normal.

  • Please note that the availability of this offer will depend on the type of device, operating system version, access to BlackBerry App World and local conditions and/or restrictions

Sources: WSJ, RIM Press Release

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