After the worst service interruption in the company’s history, BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion announced today that they would be offering a bunch of otherwise-premium apps for free to make amends. RIM hopes the bundle worth over $100 will convey that it’s “committed to providing the high standard of reliability [customers] expect, today and in the future”. For businesses that will likely have third-party apps locked out from their devices, RIM will be offering a month of free Enhanced technical support.
Here are a few of the software titles that they’ll be offering.
• SIMS 3 – Electronic Arts
• Bejeweled – Electronic Arts
• N.O.V.A. – Gameloft
• Texas Hold’em Poker 2 – Gameloft
• Bubble Bash 2 – Gameloft
• Photo Editor Ultimate – Ice Cold Apps
• DriveSafe.ly Pro – iSpeech.org
• iSpeech Translator Pro – iSpeech.org
• Drive Safe.ly Enterprise – iSpeech.org
• Nobex Radio™ Premium – Nobex
• Shazam Encore – Shazam
• Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant – Vlingo
Given the number of people affected, this seems like the best way RIM can make nice, even though there’s not much they can do about the week of ruined productivity for many BlackBerry owners. Even free apps might seem a bit lame considering BlackBerry’s reputation for them isn’t particularly good, but these are some of the more popular titles, and RIM may end up adding more to the list. Personally, I’d prefer to have $100 in my App World account to buy what I want.
Service providers around the world have already started dishing out freebies to appease customers angry about the service outage – a cost which may be passed on to RIM by way of a $100 million in refunded service fees. BlackBerry is already on the ropes when it comes to dealing with competing smartphones, and this outage gave the aging brand a black eye it really didn’t need right now. RIM’s developer event is kicking off tomorrow, and one can only hope that showing off their new operating system for smartphones will renew some faith in the company.
The free apps will become available on Wednesday, and will be free for a month. Enterprise users wanting their month of technical support can sign up here. BlackBerry users, is this enough to make you forget about last week, or are you going to switch as a result of the outage?