Ina Fried

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RIM Aims to Make Good for Outage With Free Apps

Last week, Research In Motion said it was too soon to talk about how it might make up for an outage that left millions of BlackBerry customers across the globe without access to data and services.

Early on Monday, the company announced it would give BlackBerry users a package of free apps in an attempt to mend fences with angry customers.

In a statement, RIM said it was offering more than $100 worth of apps “as an expression of appreciation for their patience during the recent service disruptions.”

“Our global network supports the communications needs of more than 70 million customers,” RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said in a statement. “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 apps will be made available for download beginning on Wednesday, with more rolling out over the coming four weeks. Titles include the games Sims 3 and Bejeweled, utilities such as translation and photo editing apps, and entertainment titles like Shazam Encore and Nobex Radio Premium.

Business customers will also get one free month of technical support, RIM said.

“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.”

Whether these steps will be enough to hang on to the customers, though, is an open question.

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google