RIM Tries to Say 'Sorry' With Free BlackBerry Apps

Blackberry Tries to Say 'Sorry' With Free Apps
Blackberry Tries to Say 'Sorry' With Free Apps

Following the massive outage in service that affected tens of millions of BlackBerry users worldwide last week, Research in Motion (RIMM) said it would provide $100 of free premium apps to each customer.

The offer is good through the end of year and includes popular apps, ranging from games to technical programs, including SIMS 3, Bewjeweled, N.O.V.A., Bubble Bash 2, Texas Hold'em Poker, iSpeech Translator Pro, Shazam Encore, Nobex Radio Premium, Photo Editor Ultimate, and Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant.

The apps have already been marked as free in the BlackBerry App World.

BlackBerry Enterprise customers will also get an additional free month of technical support. More details are available on RIM's website. The company also says it is also considering compensating some network carriers, Bloomberg reported.

One reason that apps -- not cash -- are being used to compensate customers is that the software applications are an international unit that work around currency exchanges and do not create or impose taxes, the company said in an email response to DailyFinance.

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Will this be enough to appease customers who were affected by RIM's system breakdown? Hard to say. In a forum thread on CrackBerry.com, customers are asking what legal rights they have to pull out of their contract early. Meanwhile, some carriers around the world are compensating customers for lost service.

At the very least, it is a big setback for the the smartphone manufacturer, which has been struggling to keep pace with the growing popularity of Android phones and iPhones.

One silver lining of the outage: In the Middle East, the number of reported traffic accidents dropped during the time BlackBerry service was disrupted, leading officials to surmise that the lack of cell phone service lead to safer driving.

That may be one reason that one of the condolence apps is DriveSafely.ly Pro, which allows users to make hands-free calls and text messages.

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