Booze-fuelled BlackBerry stabbing caps off rotten week at RIM


Booze-fuelled BlackBerry stabbing caps off rotten week at RIM

As if it wasn't bad enough that ill-considered comments from CEO Thorsten Heims led last week to panicked headlines about RIM being on the verge of quitting the consumer business, a violent incident at a vendor event in London has covered the cake in bitter-tasting icing.

Already reeling from negative publicity surrounding the use of its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) instant messaging service during last summer's London riots, RIM had invited a number of  journalists (not me, I was at home watching Borgen), reality show celebrities from The Only Way is Essex*, competition winners and popular beat combo Jessie J to a bash at a South Bank nightclub in celebration of BBM.

Sadly for RIM, things backfired thanks to a lavish free bar, as people tried to leave the venue, a fight is understood to have broken out in the cloakroom queue, during which an unnamed 30 year-old man was stabbed in the neck with a broken bottle. The victim currently remains in a critical condition and another man has been arrested.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Channel 4's tech correspondent Ben Cohen said a lot of party attendees were "teen users of BlackBerry who don't seem to have had a free drink before".

In light of its apparent association with thuggery and gangland violence, BBM is starting to look distinctly albatross-shaped. Network Noise wonders if Thorsten might actually have had a good point when he made his remarks about focusing on RIM's commercial business.

*Your definition of celebrity may vary.

This was first published in April 2012

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