RIM’s peace offering: Free apps
Research In Motion is moving quickly to get back in the good graces of its subscribers by offering what it says is $100 worth of free premium applications plus — for enterprise customers — one month’s free technical support.
The move, announced early Monday, is “an expression of appreciation” for the patience of subscribers during what for some was four days of service interruptions last week following the failure of a core switch in its British network operations centre.
The offer will start Oct. 19 and last until Dec. 31, the Waterloo, Ont.-based company said in a news release.
“Our global network supports the communications needs of more than 70 million customers,” RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said in the release. “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 applications available at BlackBerry App World will include games Sim 3, Bejeweled, N.O.VA., Texas Hold’em Poker 2; productivity apps such as Photo Editor Ultimate, iSpeech Translator Pro and Vingo Plus: Virtual Assistant; and Nobex Radio Premium.
The availability of the RIM [Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM] apps will depend on the type of BlackBerry or Playbook tablet and operating system.
Enterprise customers will get one month of free technical support, which comes in one of two ways. Those on a contract will have it exteneded by one month, while those who don’t have a contract will be a one month trial of the enhanced version of BlackBerry Technical Support Services.
Details of how to register for the support deals are available here.
“This retribution is a nice gesture,” said Forrester Research telecom analyst Brownlee Thomas. It also underscores that the compensation is aimed at RIM’s consumers customers, who she feels are more likely to defect to other hand sets than business uses.
“Of course,” she added, “the next step that would seem reasonable would be for RIM to do something for BES (BlackBerry Enterprise System) customers as well. Not sure what that might be, but I’m confident the developers will have some ideas.
“RIM also needs to communicate a plan within 30 days about what they’re doing to ensure protection against single-point-of-failure that led to [last week’s] cascade effect of message back-log,” she added.