For most of this week, millions of users of the Research in Motion (RIM)-manufactured BlackBerry smartphone have been left without various essential elements of their mobile service. On Thursday, RIM's two leading figures, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, held a press conference to announce that the problems had been solved, and although they offered apologies for the inconveniences, they appeared to remain elusive in explaining the causes of the problem.

According to the New York Times, the problems with BlackBerries and related smartphone accessories stemmed from the collapse of a core switch within the RIM wireless data network. This led to the longest service interruption of any kind that BlackBerry users have ever experienced, first affecting Europe, Africa and the Middle East before spreading to Canada and the United States. All in all, the failures affected five continents.

The news source reports that Lazaridis acknowledged his company's failures with candor. "I want to apologize to all the BlackBerry users we let down," he said. "Our inability to quickly fix this has been frustrating."

However, InformationWeek reported that when he and Balsillie were asked more pointed questions about the issue, such as specific reasons for the core switch failure, they remained reticient to release more details. "We don't know why it failed the way that it did," Lazaridis said.