The world's favorite, or else not-so-favorite wireless underdog suffered an outage today, curiously similar to one which occurred last year, about the same time of the year.

Coinciding with the release of Apple's iPhone 5 around the world, a service disruption affected BlackBerry subscribers in parts of Europe. Problems with the service were also experienced in the Middle East and Africa. A similar problem occurred last year, when Blackberry experienced an outage coinciding with the debut of the iPhone 4S. That outage lasted for three days – thankfully, today's interruption lasted only three hours.

The outage is over now, of course. It is estimated that as many as six percent of BlackBerry’s 78 million subscribers could have been affected by the interruption. A technical analysis will be performed to determine what caused the outage.

RIM (Research In Motion), the owner of BlackBerry, has been suffering a steady decline in stock percentage. Today's issue probably didn't aid them, and at the close of New York, the stock fell 6.5%, which is the most since the end of June.

In the eyes of some, BlackBerry is a dying animal that is vainly struggling for survival, but will inevitably wind up dead, and forgotten. In the eyes of others, it's an animal in the lights of an oncoming vehicle, and can only survive if it changes course. But in the eyes of yet others, BlackBerry has already been hit by that vehicle, which would be the modern smartphone monsters, such as Apple, Samsung, and HTC.

Yet, CEO Thorsten Heins, who apologized for today's outage on the BlackBerry website, is more optimistic on the situation, banking the hope of the company's future on the upcoming Blackberry 10 platform. It is expected that more will be released about the platform at next week’s BlackBerry developer conference in San Jose, California.

Source: Businessweek