RIM E-Mail Outage Hits BlackBerry Users In Advance Of Earnings

Not exactly the kind of news that Research In Motion needs in advance of its fiscal Q3 earnings report … The company is reporting that “some” North American customers are “experiencing problems” with their e-mail service, regardless of carrier. Corporate users shouldn’t be affected, as the outage is hitting RIM’s web-based mail server. (I woke up this morning with no new e-mails on my BlackBerry Tour, so I’m definitely experiencing the problem).

Verizon, Sprint (NYSE: S) and Rogers Wireless execs confirmed with Bloomberg that the outage was impacting their subscribers; RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) said that its technicians were working on the problem. The news sent the company’s shares down by 81 cents.

This is just the latest in a spate of widespread service outages for handset-makers and carriers in the past few months: T-Mobile’s network went down in November, there was the Sidekick data fiasco in October, and in September, an iPhone service outage swept the Northeast.