WHAT HAPPENED: Research in Motion Inc.'s BlackBerry phone had a service outage that lasted up to three hours and affected users in Europe and Africa. Up to 6 percent of RIM users may have been affected.
APPLES AND ORANGES: The problems came on the same day Apple Inc.'s new iPhone 5 went on sale. Apple shops are jammed with customers.
CONTEXT: Smartphone users are abandoning Blackberrys for flashier iPhones and Android phones. RIM is laying off thousands of workers this year as it transitions to a new software platform that has been deemed critical to its survival.