RIM offers free apps as apology for outage

Research in Motion is trying to make good after last week’s Blackberry outage gave yet another sting to the fledgling smartphone brand.

It started out as a relatively minor outage, affecting parts of eastern Europe and the Middle East. But the service problems quickly spread to other sections of Europe, South America, and eventually the US and Canada.

The widespread service outage led to a slew of bad publicity for Blackberry, which has been fighting hard enough as it is to keep the brand alive and well in a world dominated by Android and the iPhone.

So as a way to help compensate its remaining loyal user base, RIM said it will offers $100 worth of games and apps as an “expression of appreciation for their patience.”

RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said in a statement, “Our global network supports the communications needs of more than 70 million customers. 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 outage caused many reports to pop up about customers who decided to switch to one of the more popular smartphone platforms. It was a black time for RIM, but Lazaridis assured, “We are taking immediate and aggressive steps to help prevent something like this from happening again.”

Among the free apps that will be available are Shazam Encore, Photo Editor Ultimate, Vlingo, and games like The Sims 3, Bejeweled, and Texas Hold’em Poker 2.