RIM's email service for BlackBerry devices is currently experiencing a widespread outage across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. According to a company statement given to PC Pro, "all relevant support teams are working to resolve the issue." The downtime is reminiscent of the notorious globe-spanning outage that occurred in October last year, and is exactly the sort of problem that the Canadian company will want to avoid as it struggles to maintain its core, enterprise-focused business amid increasing competition.

In the wake of the October outage, RIM offered customers a selection of premium apps valued at more than $100 by way of apology. It is not yet clear whether today's incident will be serious enough to merit a similar act of contrition.

Update: We've received a brief statement from RIM which indicates the outage should be over.

Our apologies to any customers impacted by the BlackBerry service issue today. We can confirm that services have been restored and are now operating normally.

Update 2: RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has released a statement apologizing to customers for the outage:

I want to apologize to those BlackBerry customers in Europe and Africa who experienced an impact in their quality of service earlier this morning. The BlackBerry service is now fully restored and I can report that no data or messages were lost. Up to 6 percent of our user base may have been impacted. Preliminary analysis suggests that those customers may have experienced a maximum delay of 3 hours in the delivery and reception of their messages. We are conducting a full technical analysis of this quality of service issue and will report as soon as it concludes. I again want to apologize to those customers who were impacted today.