Hollywood Exhales: BlackBerry Service Is Back

After service outages for most of Wednesday, BlackBerry corrected its backlog causing a flood of new e-mails and messages

Updated 4:50 p.m. ET

At 4:43 ET, peace and order were restored in Hollywood. All was right with the world again. BlackBerry service was restored. 

A global service outage spread to the United States on Wednesday morning, prompting outrage and frustration among BlackBerry addicts. Tweeters and executives alike were blindsided by their inability to get their "CrackBerry" fix, and for most of the day, manufacturer Research in Motion had no answer for when service would be restored.

Now those questions have been put to rest as emails and messages started flooding in, obviating the need for face-to-face contact once again.

Updated 3:45 p.m. ET

Bad news for Hollywood's BlackBerry addicts: The company has no idea when service will be restored.

Wednesday afternoon, Research in Motion, the manufacturer of the popular hand-held devices, staged a conference call to answer media questions about the outage, which started overseas but spread to the U.S. 

Fine idea, but it didn't seem to answer any of the key questions.

BlackBerry Chief Technology Officer David Yach said the outages spread globally because of the backlog of undelivered messages, but Yach had no answer for when the backlog will be unclogged. Nor did he specify what consumers can expect in the meantime.

Yach did say restoring service was the "top priority," but then said that there was nothing else to communicate to customers.

The outage has wreaked havoc on Hollywood, a town especially dependent on its CrackBerries, as the devices are known. Many moguls and celebrities, deprived of their usual e-mail and news obsessions, have taken to Twitter to express their frustration.

"About to take off from Milan to Istanbul, and none of my three BlackBerrys are working! #blackberryoutage," tweeted Arianna Huffington.

"OK, this #Blackberry business is now SERIOUSLY pissing me off," CNN host Piers Morgan wrote.

Joel McHale from "Community" tried to find levity in the outage, tweeting: "Can I borrow someone's bugle? I need to play Taps for Blackberry service."


Hollywood was paralyzed in its tracks on Wednesday as a global Blackberry service outage spread to North America, frustrating moguls, actors and anyone not on the iPhone.

Hollywood, whose weapon of choice is the Blackberry largely because of the industry's crack-like addiction to email and instant news, was not amused:

“So I bought an iPhone, Steve Jobs dies. I bought the Blackberry, BBM dies. Now going to buy the album of Justin Bieber,” tweeted the account for “Family Guy” character Stewie Griffin.

Actor Michael Gambon, best known as Professor Dumbledore from “Harry Potter,” tweeted:

“Dear BlackBerry, your networks appear to be going down more often than Katie Price at the moment.” Price is a British model known for a leaked sex tape.

Hollywood influencers have long been courted by RIM, Blackberry's parent company. In fact, Season 5 of "Entourage," the template for contemporary Hollywood iconography,  was a Blackberry lovefest,  ("we at Berry Reporter have been waiting for this forever!!" cheered the company website at the time) with Ari Gold using a Cingular 8800 and E attached to a Blackberry Curve.

But increasingly executives and celebrities have begun moving to Android and iPhone as the more recent Blackberry models have proved technically unreliable, according to executives and industry insiders who have discussed the issue with TheWrap anecdotally in recent months.

BlackBerry service outages across the globe continued for a third straight day on Wednesday, as users from the United States to India struggled to access their e-mails and use BlackBerry Messenger. Email in the United States appeared to screech to a halt at about 7:15 pm ET/10:15 pm PT.

The timing could hardly be worse for struggling RIM. Its share price has been hit hard this year and Android phones continue to grab more market share.

Add on the fact that the iPhone 4S debuts on Friday, and there’s a good chance the influencer set could begin a pivotal migration away from their portable keyboards.

The outages began in other parts of the world such as Europe, the Middle East and parts of South America, but the problems have spread to the United States and Canada.

Blackberry has released a vague statement on the cause of the problem attributing the crash to “a core switch failure.”

The company said:  "The messaging and browsing delays being experienced by BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina were caused by a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure.”

They also said the problem has been fixed, but Hollywood Blackberries said differently. (Blackberry also said it will take time to fix the backlog.)

As expected, many have taken to Twitter to express their displeasure in ways both unsavory and hilarious.

 “@BlackBerry If this outage is not resolved quickly I am switching to an iPhone! I've been a loyal BlackBerry user until now!,” blogger Perez Hilton tweeted.

CNN host Piers Morgan wrote, "I love you #Blackberry — but if you continue to stop me BBM communicating with my sons, we're so, like, OVER."

Even the Kardashians got in on this one, as Kourtney tweeted "What is going on?? I am meant to talk ot @KylieJenner bc we r BMMing!"