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RIM Service Loss Could Have 'Ripple Effect': RBC Director

While a days-long outage of email service for BlackBerry users should not have a direct financial impact on Research in Motion, it could have subsequent ripple effects, one managing director said.

Mike Abramsky, a managing director at RBC Capital Markets, said RIM should not expect a direct financial impact from the outage but added there could be subsequent ripple effects from the service disruption.

One possible ripple effect would be an acceleration of share gains by RIM's competitors, such as Apple and Google .

RIMM's Blackberry Jam

Vodafone has already said it will explore all of its options for getting reimbursed by RIM from paying customers back for the email outage. Abramsky said RIM has refrained from reimbursing customers for these kinds of outages in the past.

"RIM's network does provide a higher level in some ways of vulnerability because it is a single point of focus in a way, but it is also a highly secure and efficient network," he said. "That efficiency creates a level of very low-priced service particularly abroad where costs are more sensitive that makes the service very attractive particularly to the text-and-talk crowd."

In the U.S., the service disruption could accelerate some transfers to iPhones as enterprises open up their networks to other smartphones, such as iPhones and Android phones.

"But keep in mind BlackBerry Messenger, which is that application that RIM uses that is so popular with consumers, is a very, very sticky application," Abramsky said. "I think people underestimate how sticky that is. It means that because people have many of their friends on it, because it's efficient, because it's fast, it's private, it's immediate, it's going to be challenging for people to just switch over immediately. "

He added that RIM has bigger problems to worry about than the outage or competitors eroding BlackBerry Messenger's stickiness.

"I think RIM's bigger issue is, if they can't address the competitive gaps in their products then that's the bigger risk," he said.

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Disclosure information was not available for Mike Abramsky or his company.